Archive for November 27, 2013

Buying a New Car or Used Car?

Purchasing a car requires a decision to be made, whether to buy a brand new car or a used car? Both new and used car has its own advantages and disadvantages. To help you in taking decision, consider the following pros and cons for new as well as a used car.

Buying a new car
There are many reasons why people prefer buying a new car:

1) Peace of mind: If serviced properly and regularly, your new car will remain mechanically sound for many years. Moreover, new cars are less likely to breakdown when comparing to used cars. Nowadays, car manufacturers are offering competitive warranties that extend from three to five years. This alone can make a brand new car an appealing option.

2) No hassles of maintenance: A new car does not require maintenance for at least 1000 miles and just require changing oil. However, mostly maintenance charges are covered by the manufacturers. Moreover, a new car need not require changing tires, batteries or brakes during first few years of purchase.

3) Latest features: New car comes with latest features. If these are on top priority for you, then your decision to purchase a new car is worth. For example, old model cars lack latest safety features and fuel economy, which nowadays every new car has.

4) Fuel economy: This feature in new cars will save you with lot of money. For example, if the car is new, the more fuel efficient it will be as manufacturers every year are working to improve the fuel efficiency of their cars.

Yet, new cars depreciate over time and its effects are mostly felt immediately in first few years after the purchase. New car loses about 40% of its value in first three years, at which depreciation point starts to slow down. This is the reason why many people prefer buying a few year old cars.

Buying a Used Car
Shopping for a used car instead of new car is less glamorous. However, buying a used car can save you with lot of money. There are many used cars available ranging from near new model car to well-maintained older vehicles. Consider the following pros and cons before buying a used car:

Pros

  • Used cars avoid depreciation faster: new car commit you to pay the price of the car that will be depreciating faster in first few years after purchase. For avoiding this, used cars can be amazing. If you purchase a pre-owned car, then you need to pay for the car, which will depreciate slowly.
  • Getting more for less: Used car allows the buyer to enjoy the benefits of a nicer car at low cost.
  • Buying a used car allows you to drive home immediately: In case of new cars, you need to order for the car and wait for its arrival that might take some time, which you might not prefer if you want it urgently. However, if you are buying a used car, you can drive the car home immediately.

Cons

  • Lack of latest safety features: Many old or used cars lack basic feature like power steering. These vehicles lack latest features like air bags, antilock brake system etc.
  • No warranty: A used car does not offer warranties, but depending on how old the car is, the car may be remaining with original warranty of factory.
  • Issues of repair: You need to spend lot of money on the used car. A used car succumbs to more wear and tear. Maintenance is required in order to upkeep the car.
  • No access to the vehicle’s history: When you purchase a used car, you do not have access to the car’s history. Some used cars may have had number of owners, and each owner may not be aware of how the car was maintained, serviced and used by other owners.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Pre-employment drug testing plays a critical role in reducing drug-abusers in an organization. It saves millions of dollars to the employer, as every year drug use costs millions of dollars to the company. So, it is recommended for every employer to implement “Pre-employment drug testing program” in their organization. This can be either done by outsourcing or by conducting on-site testing program. In this article, you will see the advantages and disadvantages of pre-employment drug testing.

Advantages of pre-employment drug testing:
Pre-employment drug testing is done on candidates who are offered the job. The employer should clearly mention about the drug testing program to the candidate. By having pre-employment drug testing done on the candidate, it will help you in the following ways.

  • Prevents hiring illicit drug abusers: This is one of the biggest benefit of doing pre-employment drug testing. Based on the drug testing results, employer can find out the drug habits of the candidate. This prevents the employer from hiring drug abusers.
  • Keeps good reputation of the organization: If drug abusers come to know about pre-employment drug testing program, they will surely not apply for a job in that organization. In this way the organization is able to keep up the good reputation by not hiring drug abusers.
  • Reduces sluggish drug abusers: It is a good approach to avoid sluggish drug abuser applicants. Sluggish drug abusers usually come late to office and leave early, spend time on non-work related activities, poor job performance, frequent absenteeism, poor decision making skills, undergoes frequent accidents, argues with co-workers, blames the superiors for own mistakes, etc. These things results into loss of productivity for the organization.
  • Indirectly reduces the cost benefits: Pre-employment drug testing indirectly reduces the cost associated with employer sponsored benefits (medical benefits). Because drug abused employees frequently fall sick.
  • Drug-free workstation: It helps in creating a drug-free working environment and reduces the probabilities of handling any future misconducts done by drug abused employees.

Disadvantages of pre-employment drug testing:

  • When conducting pre-employment drug testing on a candidate make sure you use kits that are FDA approved, as the results are accurate and reliable. If you use unreliable drug testing kit on a candidate and the candidate is not a drug abuser, but the results are negative. This may bring a bad name to your organization.
  • Candidates who take prescription medications and herbal supplements, drug testing on such candidates may show positive results. Even though the candidate is a drug abuser he will get selected as the results are positive.
  • Tests should be conducted according to the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Guidelines. If an employer failed to follow the guidelines, the employer can be fined.

Many organizations are conducting pre-employment drug testing programs. These programs not only help in creating a drug-free workplace, but also saves billions of dollars to the employers. Read more

Web Content Management Systems – Pros and Cons

monitoring serviceThere are different web content management system tools are available today. These come from a free open-source (where a dedicated team works) and the commercial tools by different companies. Each tool has advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss in this article pros and cons of using a web content management systems.

  • Pros
  • Cost: There are some tools available at no cost and even tools offered by the non open-source based companies also reasonable. But cost will increase when add-ons are increased.
  • Easy customization: Customization of content management tools is easy. Many tools are available as drag and drop. Code generation by these also low and are simple to use. So it is easy to use even by non technical people also.
  • By using content management systems, the organization can focus on content rather than its development and design.
  • There is no need of creating new web pages when you add new content. These tools will publish the content into the website framework.
  • website monitoring serviceThere is no need of experience in HTML and other web technologies. Training new employee on these tools is also easy.
  • All content can be stored in a single database and can by access it others.
  • Because of stored in database the content search is enabled and easy to search.
  • Some tools provide the facility to publish the data at a scheduled time and date.
  • Changing the look and feel of the website is easy.
  • Some content management systems are integrated with storage of emails. So you can store the emails of the subscribers and it is easy to send the updates to them.
  • Spell-checking is an inbuilt feature.
  • More than one author can work in the same website at a time without any difficulty.
  • Cons
  • Migrating from one content management tool to another is difficult and time consuming.
  • It can check spell and some grammar, but it never makes a bad content good as a human does. Therefore, it is sensible get it done by human performer.
  • It needs high initial investment and the maintenance cost is also high.
  • Larger tools require big infrastructure and need to upgrade the hardware.
  • If data are not accessed properly from the server, they might be lost.
  • You need to purchase the license, if it is from a commercial company.

These points are not applicable for all the tools. Every tool has unique features. Some companies have the infrastructure and skilled people to work on the new content management systems. Read more

Central Air Conditioner Vs Portable Air Conditioner

A central air conditioner and a portable air conditioner give different sets of benefits. When considering which type of air conditioner to choose, the following factors will help you choose the one that best suits your requirements.

Installation: There is a great difference between the installation processes of these units. Central air conditioners are installed permanently. A duct-work in the wall, ceiling or floor, holds the central unit. On the other hand, portable air conditioners are easy to set up because they do not require any installation, as the name suggests they are portable.

Energy consumption: There is a great variation in energy consumption of the two. A portable unit if kept in every room of a large house, it will consume more energy than a central air conditioner.

Convenience: Buildings that are difficult to renovate or reconstruct, portable air conditioners are best for such buildings. People who live on rent often prefer portable units because they can easily carry it as and when they are planning to move. When owning or constructing a house, if you are deciding to install a central unit, make sure to have provision in walls or ceilings or floor. This will help you in fixing the central air conditioner. Central air conditioning units have a good system for cooling the entire house, building, etc.

Space consumption: As the central air conditioners are attached to the duct work of wall or floor or ceiling, it does not occupy place on wall or floor as a portable unit does. Moreover, they are noiseless and comfortable when compared to portable units.

Ventilation: Portable units need some ventilation or should be installed near window to take away the moisture and if there is excess moisture, the air conditioner fails to cool the indoor air. If there is no window, you need to make provision for the window. If you are not willing to make any provision or modifications in the wall or ceiling, it is better to consider central air conditioner because it doesn’t require a window, it is simply installed to the duct work of the wall.

Maintenance: When it comes to maintenance, portable air conditioners require more maintenance than central air conditioners. It is not that central air conditioners don’t require any maintenance, they also should be maintained for efficient operation.

Warranty: Central units come with longer warranty, whereas portable air conditioners have lesser warranty period.

Before purchasing a particular air conditioner, get to know about the pros and cons of it as it will help you in deciding the best.
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Dental Insurance – Importance and Types

Dental insurance is a financial plan that pays for the costs associated with oral or dental care. You should visit dentist every six months to make your dental insurance more effective as it will cost less if the problems are detected in early stages. Leaving the problem untreated can make the treatment more complex and also expensive. In this article, we will discuss the importance of dental insurance and different types of dental insurance plans.

Importance of dental insurance

Proper oral care does not mean merely brushing and flossing, it is much more than that. You need to visit dentist every six months to get your teeth checked and cleaned by him. This is more obvious for children as they tend to consume a lot of sweets and chocolates, which can cause tooth caries. Visiting the dentist regularly can help in identifying the problem and treating it in early stage.

Sometimes, dental procedures becomes costly when not done in early stages. Without dental insurance, these treatments can easily and quickly increase your expenses. People often don’t understand the importance of visiting a dentist, and this is more common with the people who do not have dental insurance. It is important to have dental insurance as it will make you visit dentist regularly and problems of your mouth are identified in initial stages.

Types of dental insurance

Following are the types of dental insurance plan :
1) Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)
Dental Health Maintenance plan is also known as pre-paid plan and one of the best options for families. This plan requires you to choose a dentist to coordinate all your oral need. And, if there is a need for you to see a specialist, preauthorization is required for specialty care. You need not pay the dentist for his service as the payment is made in advance. But if you are visiting a dentist outside this plan, you need to pay the entire bill amount.

2) Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan
Under PPO, when you visit a dentist, you need to pay certain percentage of the treatment cost and the rest is paid by the insurance plan. The amount for payment depends on the type of coverage in insurance plan like preventive, diagnostic care or major dental procedures. For instance, 80% of the fees of preventive services are covered by the insurance plan and you have to pay 20% of the amount. While if the treatment includes crowns and bridges, 50% will be covered by insurance company.

3) Indemnity Dental Insurance Plan
If you choose Dental Indemnity Plan also called free for service, you are free to visit any dentist you wish. Sometimes preauthorization is required for certain dental procedures. This plan requires you to pay an amount (deductible). After paying the deductible, your insurance company will pay some percentage for the dental services you have undergone.

Dental insurance is important to because of the high cost of dental care. Choose a plan according to your need and affordability. Read more