Monthly Archives: July 2014

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​Max Out Your HSA To Supplement Your Retirement Savings

​Max Out Your HSA To Supplement Your Retirement Savings

Those of us in high-deductible health care plans with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) often put in just enough money to pay for medical expenses throughout the year. You might reconsider that strategy and use your HSA for additional retirement savings.

Taxpayers can use an HSAs to pay for health care related expenses, but when you turn 65 you can use the money for anything you want. At that point, the IRS will tax your HSA withdrawals like a traditional IRA. When you’re young and healthy, your medical expenses are probably low and you may not contribute much to your HSA. In 2014, the limit for an individual contribution to an HSA is $3,350 (it goes up in 2015), so we aren’t talking a huge sum of money. By maxing out your HSA now, you can pay for the inevitable higher healthcare costs as you get older.

Check out the link for ideas on how to use HSAs for retirement savings by following the link

Health Savings Accounts Can Double as Shadow IRAs | Wall Street Journal

Photo by reynermedia.

The Big Picture: Filming 360-degree video of the Aquarius underwater Reef Base

When Fabien Cousteau embarked on a month-long underwater mission at the Aquarius science lab, Time wanted readers to enjoy as much of the journey from the comfort of their PC as possible. The solution? An interactive 360-degree video. Easy to say,…

Public to get to vote on names for exoplanets

Astronomers may be the world champions at giving fantastically dull names to spectacular objects. Over the years, catchy monickers like GRB 130606A and SDSS J150243.09+111557.3 have graced our pages. That trend has carried over into the naming of exoplanets, which picked up names like KOI 784.02 (where KOI is just short for “Kepler object of interest”). That’s led at least one company to try to fill the void by letting people pay for the right to (completely unofficially) name a planet.

At the time the naming program first hit the news, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) made a statement that reminded everyone that the names would have no official weight. However, the IAU also recognized that the public was excited about the prospect and suggested it might do something about the situation. Unfortunately, the IAU’s definition of “do something” involved kicking the problem to a committee, which is often where large organizations send ideas to die.

Yet the Public Naming of Planets and Planetary Satellites Working Group has come through. About a year ago, it determined that exoplanet names should follow the rules that govern the naming of minor planets in the Solar System. And it suggested that any group that wanted to run a non-commercial naming campaign (meaning, you can’t charge to name a planet) should get in touch. A year later, the IAU is announcing its first naming campaign, run in collaboration with the citizen science site Zooniverse.

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​Know Which Medical Alert System is Right for Your Family

​Know Which Medical Alert System is Right for Your Family

We’ve seen those poorly produced commercials about family members who have fallen and can’t get up. All kidding aside, for those of us with aging parents, knowing which systems are the best can give you some piece of mind.

Consumer Reports reviewed these systems and compared the features you need to know before deciding on a plan. Similar to mobile phones, these products have activation and cancellation fees along with monthly service fees. The systems vary greatly in how they handle alerts. Some will detect a fall while others won’t.

Making these decisions isn’t pleasant, and you may need to get your family doctor involved if the person who needs the services opposes getting an alert system. If you’ve got an older family member who’s alone and can’t always take care of themselves, these products are lifesavers.

Before you make your decision, check with the leasing office if your parent lives in a retirement community. You can often get discounts on these services and some facilities can build the fees into the rent.

Medical Alert Systems Comparison | Consumer Reports

Photo by Paul Vasarhelyi (Shutterstock).

Israel’s Controversial ‘Roof Knocking’ Tactic Caught On Video

Israel's Controversial 'Roof Knocking' Tactic Caught On Video

Israel has used a tactic called "roof knocking" for a while, but its use has become more widely known since "Operation Protective Edge" began last week. In an attempt to reduce civilian casualties, it involves hitting a target with a low-yield weapon as a warning, just moments before obliterating it with a much larger weapon.

Read more…

Grandma repeatedly protested drones at base, now faces a year in jail

Mary Anne Grady-Flores, a 58-year-old Ithaca, NY grandmother of three, faces a one-year county jail sentence after being charged with second-degree criminal contempt. The punishment comes after her repeated participation in peaceful anti-drone protests at the Hancock Air Base in DeWitt, NY (located in Central New York near Syracuse).

In October 2012, Grady-Flores was taken into custody after a drone protest. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, 16 people from the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars (UCGDEW) blocked three gates at the New York National Guard Hancock Field during the demonstration. They were taken into custody to be charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, and a protection order was eventually issued to prevent Grady-Flores from going near Col. Earl Evans, the mission support group commander at the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard. Boing Boing notes protection orders are at times given to non-violent stalkers, and this one was valid for one year according to the paper.

Timing was not on Grady-Flores’ side. In February 2013, Grady-Flores and 11 other UCGDEW members were being sentenced (this time to 15 days at a local penitentiary following new disorderly conduct charges; trespassing charged were dismissed). According an account Ellen Grady (Grady-Flores’ sister) gave the Post-Standard, Grady-Flores was in attendance at the base to photograph the events this time rather than protest herself. But in the initial sentencing hearing, DeWitt Town Justice David Gideon said her intent was “completely irrelevant” to her additional criminal contempt charge since Grady-Flores admitted to being on base property. Grady told the Post-Standard that Grady-Flores was “was not a threat to Evans and… unaware that her actions in February violated the protection order.” Grady-Flores eventually went to trial for criminal contempt in May and was found guilty. Her sentencing took place this week.

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Save Google Voicemails to Your Google Drive with a Script

Save Google Voicemails to Your Google Drive with a Script

Google Voice is a great way to archive voicemail messages, but you must manually download the messages if you want to keep them long-term. Instead, try automatically saving them to your Google Drive.

Amit Agarwal over at Digital Inspiration shares a handy script that wil automate the process for you. You can either use the code yourself or install his app. Each time you get a Google Voice message, the app tags the message as an MP3 and saves the audio into a Google Voice folder in your Google drive. Unlike the cryptic name Google Voice assigns to downloaded messages, the mp3 files from this app have the caller’s phone number and the date and time of the call in the title.

Check out the link for the details on how to install it.

Save your Google Voicemail to Google Drive as MP3 Files | Digital Inspiration

Hard-Core Party Crasher Plows Jeep Through Fence, Into Pool

Hard-Core Party Crasher Plows Jeep Through Fence, Into Pool

"I hit the water and heard an explosion. I turned around and there’s a Jeep in the pool."

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US Marines Turned A Ship Into A Truck, Watch It Be An Absolute Beast

US Marines Turned A Ship Into A Truck, Watch It Be An Absolute Beast

From Truck Yeah!: The US Marines have been planning up the "Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) to replace their beach-storming hovercrafts since 2008. They started building this one in 2012, and have finally brought out of the garage for a little test drive.

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Snapchat lets everyone contribute to a shared World Cup photo album

Snapchat’s first Our Story collaborative photo experiment was strictly an opt-in affair where you had to add a user to see it at all. However, the ephemeral image service is now trying something much more ambitious: it’s giving every user access to…