Alternative to iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaner

ILIFE A4 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

I’ve been contemplating buying a robotic vacuum cleaner for some time. Especially seeing my nephew grabbing one and talking highly about how it saves lots of time and does a good job cleaning. However, the steep price tag (around $1000) has always refrained me from getting one of these modern day marvels.

My curiosity remained, however, and I thought to myself that there must be some cheaper versions of Roomba that would work just fine. After searching for months and going through lots of reviews, finally I decided on ILIFE A4.

The main difference I can see is that ILIFE does not follow a mapped pattern or advanced navigation system to program its movement, so it does not keep repeating same spots. Rather, it cleans randomly going here and there. In my condo, I found out that there are some places it keeps going back again and again and again. Also, it does not have Wi-Fi or smart phone connection.

At the end of the day, ILIFE does its job, possibly taking longer and repeating some places more than others. However, these are minor flaws and I don’t mind, considering the fraction of a price I paid. And I don’t really need Wi-Fi or a fancy smartphone app to track its movement or obtaining a cleaning report.

The quality of cleaning is something I cannot complain about as well. It does the same level of cleaning I would do with a hand-held vacuum. So the precious time it’s saving me is sweet and I can even program it to clean my condo when I am at work; one less thing to worry about in life.

After finishing its job, ILIFE goes back to its home (or docking station) and sleeps there quietly until it’s next shift. I have made 2 videos on ILIFE where you can see me unboxing and following ILIFE all around my condo. I will provide you with those links here for you to watch.

The only regret I have at this point is that I did not buy this modern-day marvel before; it would have saved me so much time and hassle. If you are planning to buy a low-cost robot vacuum, research well before buying anything so you don’t regret it later. They exist and you don’t have to break your bank to enjoy one.

Are Money Making Ads Real or Just Hype?

Can I make money on the Internet?

 It seems everywhere we look from our mailbox to the television some one is getting rich fast on the internet. In addition, the moneymaking possibilities are endless. If you are interested in making money, how does one know where to start? Do we buy into the ads and start selling for EBay or Google, or do we find our own niche and market the minefield of green? Whatever the base for your online money making business it is best to remember that nothing comes free. Hard work and dedication are needed in any venture and sticking a lot of money into proven systemsmay not be your best bet.

When dealing with Internet business it is in your best interest to find a niche that you are familiar with and can be happily involved in on a daily basis. Once you find your optimal business opportunity, create a website, and are ready to start selling it is important to sell the website as well to drive traffic to your site. SEO Articles are helpful but it is important to find available search engines and to create the articles needed to advertise. This in itself for the Entrepreneur can be very daunting but there are several services that can help market your wares. There are freelancers available to write your articles and companies to incorporate your articles into useful formats. The most important thing is to generate SEO Articles that are useful and informative, including well written. The trend today seems to be computer-generated articles with a lot of unuseful information with several keywords to drive traffic. This can drive traffic but it is best to stay ahead of the trend and keep it honest for a lasting customer base.

If selling yourself or a product is not what interests you but possibly maintaining a website that sells itself and creates income from generated revenue depending on the visitors and ads placed on your site then there are several opportunities as well. One such tool is Google Ad sense and offers you to be paid per click or sale from other sites. You advertise their links on your site, blog, forum, hub and other tools. This can be lucrative if you have content that people are searching for and the ads generate themselves in relation to your content or you can customize these ads as well. A good tool in combination with this system is to advertise and generate through other forms such as Facebook or Twitter. The idea is the more you market, the more traffic you generate and the more money possibilities you earn in this type of Internet business.

Including moneymaking ads, you can also include Affiliate Accounts in which you provide direct links to sites selling products in which you are paid a percentage of sales. As with all other ventures, you have to market your advertising format to get the traffic to become customers. With so many struggling Entrepreneurs today, it is easy to fall to the bottom of the barrel, and lose traffic to similar sites. Keeping your sites, hubs or blogs current and adding new content daily will help you rise to the top. Besides promotions, you may also venture to add specials or discounts that will attract heavier traffic flow.

Keeping these moneymaking opportunities in mind, do not forget to research all avenues to ensure you have the time, patience and attitude to stick with your ventures until they become fruitful.
First Published: Nov 15, 2009

Google Finance Canada

Google Canadian Financial Site

First Published: Jan 08, 2010

You have got to check Google Finance Canada out. Because it’s a Canadian financial site and from Google. Google lunched Google Finance Canada in August 2007. Google Finance Engineer Dion Roy, a Canadian, stated in his blog that Canadians are the second largest users of the original Google Finance and Google Finance Canada is a localized version tailored specifically for Canadians. I like Google Finance Canada for the following:

  • Unbelievably simple to use. Looking for a stock or a company? Just start putting the name or trading symbol in the search box. Let’s say you want to know about Bombardier, and you don't know the trading symbol. Just write bom and see what happens. This autocompletion feature is really a brilliant idea. Try it now.
  • An Ad-free site (yes, it is ad-free but hard to say how long it will remain ad-free).
  • simple layouts. Easy to navigate.
  • Create a portfolio to watch your stocks. Google has made this so simple. Try it out. You can even add Price and Number of Shares to monitor how much money you are making (or loosing).
  • Watch Canadian financial news, Canadian economic data, Canadian stocks and mutual funds data – all in one page.

You will not find lots of tools(like Yahoo Finance) on Google Finance Canada because it is a very new project. I am sure Google will be improving this site rapidly and will be adding lots of features. Another positive feature Google Finance Canada has is that it does not have too many things crammed up in too little space, unlike Yahoo. Click here to visit Google Finance Canada.

Why So Many Complaints about Indian Visa and BLS?

My Indian Visa Experienc

My Indian Visa Experienc

My Indian Tourist Visa Experience

Last week, I wrote about how to obtain an Indian visa from Canada. Today, I will talk about my overall experience going through the visa procedure.

Before starting to apply, I was researching the rules and requirements online for Canadians getting an Indian visa. I noticed enormous amounts of negative reviews and ratings on the Indian Consulate and BLS International, the 3rd party outsourcer that looks after Indian visa processing. This made me very nervous and I was almost certain that these guys would put me through lots of headaches and hassle issuing me an Indian tourist visa.

So the day I reached the BLS Toronto location, I didn’t know what to expect. I was ready to accept a lengthy wait time both at the BLS office and, after the submission, waiting for the visa to arrive. To my surprise, no such things happened. At the BLS centre, I was done with everything within one to two hours and the staff was friendly and accommodating. I didn’t find anything to complain about or see anyone else going through any hassle or difficulty.

Another big shock was waiting for me after two days when I received my passport with my Indian visa via FedEx. Yes, I got it in just two business days when I was told by many people it could take weeks or more than a month.

And for those days I was waiting for the visa, I was updated by BLS via texts and emails on the status of my application, such as, my visa app was received at the consulate, my passport was released by the consulate, my passport was dispatched to FedEx, and so on.

Before writing this article, I thought it going to be another negative review. However, throughout the whole process, I found nothing to complain about and would like to give these guys (BLS and Indian Consulate) the credit they deserve for a job well done. I don’t know why others had so many problems and I understand that everyone’s experience is different. But mine was fantastic and I thank you for everyone’s hard work and friendly service that I received at the BLS and Indian Consulate.

Search Engine Optimization - Good, Bad Or Both?

Don’t Just Use SEO Without Relevant References

For any entrepreneur who is serious about making money in this day and age, the Internet is a powerful, and some would argue indispensable, tool. A web presence enables you to reach customers wherever you want – and for companies with a mail order aspect this has been proven to drive orders up by allowing them to sell far and wide. In order to increase your web presence, there are many tools available. Some of these tools are more effective than others, but one which has proven to be immensely popular is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. SEO has become one of the ultimate buzzwords in Internet marketing – and is seen as being immensely desirable for the purposes of increasing presence.

Search engines are seen as being hugely important in increasing your web presence. Many people who are looking for something specific will, without even thinking, turn to the search engines, and most usually Google. By entering their required search term, they will turn up relevant results in the search engine and pick from the list that they see. Because people tend to read a page from top to bottom, having the result which ranks first in Google for a specific search term is considered very lucrative. Search Engine Optimization works by making a web page more “attractive” to the robots which search the Internet for relevant results. It does this by reading the keywords which people are searching for and judging by their volume on the page how apposite the site is for the searcher.

So far, so good, then. To create a page that will bring in the attention of someone who is looking for, say, tickets for a Justin Timberlake concert, the SEO user will make as many references as possible in the text of their web page to “justin timberlake tickets”, “justin timberlake concert”, “justin timberlake concert tickets”, and a range of other phrases which can include the venues at which Justin will be appearing, as well as eyecatching words like “cheap”, “cut price”, “front row” and so forth. Then when the potential customer searches for “cheap justin timberlake tickets Chicago” or a similar search term, the site with the most relevant references will appear high in the Google search results.

So what is the drawback to SEO, if it is bringing in traffic? The answer is that people know SEO works, and can occasionally be very indiscriminate in their use of search terms. Look at the two sentences that follow:

“I have found a fail-safe way to get cheap front row tickets for Justin Timberlake in Chicago – read on for more info!”

“Cheap Justin Timberlake tickets Chicago I have found Justin Timberlake concert tickets front row – CLICK HERE!!!”

The first sentence holds more promise for the questing Timberlake fan, as it reads like something a sentient person might write. The latter is stuffed with search terms and reads like gibberish – but at least initially will get into the search engines at a higher level due to its SEO volume. More and more people, conscious of the power of SEO, are using nothing but optimization to drive traffic, and it is becoming problematic for the person looking to find relevant information. Search engines are, however, developing to forestall this problem – but it is not, as yet, an exact science, and poor SEO is still slipping through the net.

First Published: Oct 5, 2009

Get Smarter by Seymour Schulich - A Must Read book

Affiliated Link: I collect Small Commission If You Purchase Using this Link

Affiliated Link: I collect Small Commission If You Purchase Using this Link

Life and Business Lessons

Get Smarter by Seymour Schulich is a business book full of life and business lessons from business and non-business perspectives. Seymour Schulich is a self-made Canadian billionaire and a great philanthropist. So far, he has donated over $200 million dollar to various educational and non-educational organizations. This is a book you must read and its money well spent – if you are buying this book.

Schulich has taken a very laid-back approach to describe his thoughts and you will never be bored reading this book. I will list some of my favourite chapters here:



  • Money’s Value Falls 90 Per Cent Every Thirty Years
  • There’s No Such Thing As Overnight Success

  • Never Envy the Rich Man or Any Person

  • China

  • Spending Money

Get Smarter has 49 chapters in total. In appendix, Schulich describes his top ten movies, his trip to the Arab World and a reading list. Let me end this post by describing a quote by author’s which basically spells out the essence of personal finance teaching – “I have a 12-year-old car, a 35-year-old house and the same wife,”

First Published: Dec 13, 2007

My Favourite Money Quotes

Money Quote Tips

I would like to share two of my favourite money quotes with you. The first quote is going to be in my first book Invest Now. The second quote will be in my second book Save Now, although I am not 100% decided yet about the second quote.

First Quote 

Money is like a sixth sense—and you can’t make use of the other five without it.

—William Somerset Maugham

Second Quote

The art is not in making money, but in keeping it.


First Published: Dec 10, 2007

Entrepreneurs And Opportunism vs Cynicism

Don’t Be An Ambulance Chaser

There is no doubt that although the majority of entrepreneurs are simply individuals who spot a gap in the market where it exists, and use their business sense to make it work for them, there are others who see an opportunity for profit everywhere, and even take an approach which morally compromises them. It is important for an entrepreneur who wishes to be taken seriously that they do not get a reputation for the latter. It may make short-term business sense to be ready to make money where others would feel morally compromised, but in the long term fewer people will want to do business with someone who has a reputation for being morally blind.

In cases of natural disaster, a high-profile death, national emergency or other such events, some people will see the chance to make money and care little about how their actions will be interpreted. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, almost the entire world was united in revulsion about the events and in sympathy for the victims and their families, as well as being strident in their insistence that such a thing should never happen again. It was also the case, however, that a few individuals saw the opportunity to play on people’s fears by spotting a sales opportunity – hiking up prices on essential living items in the knowledge that people would be reluctant to leave their homes, selling security devices which would be useless in the event of another attack to play on the very real desire for safety, and so forth.

It is desirable for an entrepreneur to be opportunistic. Seeing the chance to make money where it exists is how an entrepreneur makes a living. While there is a lot of moral relativism around – “Someone was going to get rich off this, why not me?” is a favourite defence – it is essential for a businessman to consider the matter of public relations. OK, most people will view the concept of public relations to be something of a pseudo-science. The truth of the matter is that in business, it is important. In most cases, our conscience will restrain us from doing something that the majority of people would find distasteful. It can be tempting to look at someone profiting from a tragedy and think “Well, if that ass can do it, I don’t see why I should suffer because of my conscience.” But there are very good reasons not to give in to that thinking.

When someone makes a living off preying on the fears and the sorrows of individuals or groups, they gain a reputation as an “ambulance chaser” – from the branch of law known as “personal injury”, where people are encouraged to find someone culpable for an accident and sue them regardless of genuine responsibility. Ambulance chasers are not widely respected and will find that anyone who has a genuine choice as to whom they do business with will avoid them like the plague. It may be a way of making short-term cash, but in the long run it is not really a sound business approach.

First Published: Seo 28, 2009

Toronto Pearson International Airport Festival

Toronto Pearson Street Festival

Every year, the Toronto Pearson Street Festival Team arranges a street festival inside the airport airfield where different exhibitors display a wide array of products related (and some non-related) to the aviation industry.

I attended this event this year, which was yesterday June 17, 2017. I had no idea about this event prior to attending and was not sure what to expect and even what sort of crowds to expect. I was surprised to see lots of people attending this gathering.

It was a cloudy day with intermittent sunlight sneaking out through the clouds. The temperature was hovering around 22 C with 70 percent humidity and 30 km/h wind. So it was not that bad to stay in an open airfield enjoying the festival and watching the planes that were landing and taking off right next to us on active runways.

There were many stalls or demonstrations, but those I liked most were a very friendly K9 police officer doc, a demonstration of chemical and biological weapon gear, a FedEx C-FEXH Cessna single-engine turboprop aircraft, and another gigantic FedEx cargo airplane, and some other airport equipment and fire trucks.

I do have videos of all those I liked and will post them on my YouTube Channel one by one. You will find one link inside this post as well, but visit my channel for all other videos I made from the Toronto Pearson Street Festival.

In the future, I will try to show more behind the scenes at the airport, as the Toronto Pearson International Airport offers programs where visitors can take an inside look at some of the airport maintenance and equipment facilities. If you have not subscribed to my YouTube Channel, go ahead and do so and I will see you soon.

How to Apply for Indian Tourist Visa

India Tourist Visa from Canada

For my upcoming trip to Asia in November, I just finished going through the process of applying for an Indian tourist visa. And I decided to write about it to give those who will be visiting India in the future some ideas. I will only mention my own experience obtaining a regular tourist visa.

There are other types of tourist visas (such as e-Visa, medical visa, etc.) and/or different procedures for obtaining them, which I am not talking about here. This process is applicable in Canada and possibly very similar to other European countries or the USA. The process and links mentioned below to obtain a visa from the country you are reading from could be very different. For that matter, the process in Canada may have totally changed by the time you are reading this. So check the Consulate General of India website first before starting your application.

To break it down to its simplest terms, here are the steps you need to go through to obtain an Indian tourist visa:

1. Except for a handful countries, citizens of most other countries require a visa before arriving in India. See the BLS link for those countries whose citizens can be issued a visa upon arrival. Link 1:

2. You need to fill out and submit an online visa application and get a printout. Link 2: Obtain other documents, such as an appropriate picture, passport, fees, and anything else mentioned under the Requirements tab on the Link 1 website.

3. BLS International, an outsourcing company, looks after India visa processing, and you need to submit everything required to BLS Centres assigned to your area. You can find your BLS Centre by visiting the Contact section under Link 1. If you have any questions, call BLS to clarify before going there.

4. Once you submit, your passport with visa will be mailed out to you or you can pick it up at BLS once available.

There is the option to mail out everything to BLS instead of physically going there, but I do not recommend this because everything will be delayed if they found any mistakes on your application. The benefits of physically submitting an online printout at BLS is that if there are any errors, BLS will tell you right away and you can correct it by submitting another online application on the same day if time permits.

My application was declined the first time, as I put Canada as place of issue instead of Gatineau. I had one hour left before the cut-off time for that day. I rushed to a computer store next door to resubmit online with a new printout (once you apply online it cannot be modified if there was a mistake and you need to redo the whole thing again) and was still able to make it.

The full process is not that difficult. However, with a Canadian passport I am not used to getting a visa because I can travel most places without a visa. For those few countries where a visa is required, I feel slightly weird about going through the process of obtaining it. I have a video on this as well for which I will provide a link on the top left of this article.