Sites of the Week: February 2, 2014

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

Factoid: Taxpayers spend about $1.4 billion paying for the staffing, housing, transportation and entertaining of President Barack Obama’s White House. In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.

Author Robert Keith, “Presidential Perks Gone Royal”

A snakebite victim who was treated at a North Carolina hospital received an $89,227 bill for an 18-hour stay. According to his bill, the hospital charged $81,000 for a four-vial anti-venom dose available online for retail prices as low as $750. Because the hospital has a contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, it reduced the total bill to $20,227 and the patient paid $5,400 out of pocket to cover the deductible and co-pay. The hospital defended its prices, saying it has to charge prices higher than retail because of the various discounts it is required to give insurers. “We are required to give Medicare one level of discount from list price, Medicaid another, and private insurers negotiate for still others,” officials told the newspaper. “If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation.” The hospital added: “Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.”

Now on to this week’s sites. This week, I’m sending out three ‘Site of the Week’ recommendations.

RezScore
http://rezscore.com/

RezScore is a free service that analyzes and grades your resume using an algorithm for measuring your resume against different metrics such as brevity, impact (effective language choice – active over passive voice, for example), and depth (enough information at each level of experience).

While the basic service is free, the site offers additional billable services including consultation, resume make-over, resume writing and more. So before clicking [Get Your RezScore], be sure to uncheck the “Contact Me About” checkbox–unless you wish to be contacted. Scoring is almost immediate. Along with an overall grade, additional information including tips for improvements are supplied. The site accepts .doc , .txt, or PDF file types, but the parser works best with .doc files. Although the site assures that they “do not sell your information to anyone and only [they] have access to it,” solely for the purpose of contacting you based on the contact preferences you specify, I suggest you modify your resume with invalid contact information before uploading to RezScore.
 

The Safest Way to Sneeze
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/beyond-the-headline-abc-news/safest-way-sneeze-214811956.html

Some may find this topic gross, but it’s practical information–especially at this time of the year.
 

HitRECord
http://www.hitrecord.org

This site comes to you via my wife Betty who heard about it on NPR. If you’re creative, this collaborative site may be perfect for you. Perhaps best known for his roles in 3rd Rock from the Sun and (500) Days of Summer, HitRECord is the brainchild of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his brother. It’s a Web site designed to bring together musicians, photographers, videographers, graphic artists, etc. to collaborate online and get paid for their work if it is used. In addition to the Web site, it’s now a TV show on the Pivot channel. (Never heard of it.)
 

Ernie Orr sez “Check em out!”

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