Carolina Panthers at New York Giants Pick and Preview

NFL Betting Preview 
Carolina Panthers (11-3) at New York Giants (11-3) 
Sunday, 8:15PM Eastern 
 
Beted.com betting line – New York Giants -3, 39 O/U 
 
The NFC home field advantage will be determined this Sunday night one two of the best teams in the conference meet in an epic grudge match. The Carolina Panthers and New York Giants both have the best records in the NFC at 11-3. Each team is one win away from claiming home field advantage throughout the playoffs and you can expect to see a great game this Sunday night. The Giants have lost two games in a row after starting the season 11-1 while Carolina has been the hottest team in the NFL in recent weeks winning 3 straight games. 
 
The Panthers have captured two really big wins in their last two outings. Carolina hopes to continue their success this Sunday when they travel to East Rutherford to battle the Giants. The Panthers running game has been superb lately and they rank 4th in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Tailbacks DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have shared carries and both been extremely effective. Williams has over 1200 yards on the season while Stewart is about 200 yards shy of the 1,000 yard make. The two backs have accounted for 23 touchdowns this season and they hope to keep the ground game moving this week. Also, the Panthers defense has been playing well putting a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  
 
New York has dropped two straight games to NFC East foes and look to rebound this weekend at home. The Giants troubles started a few weeks ago with some off the field trouble by star wide receiver Plexico Burress. Burress is officially out for the season and the offense just not has found the fire power since. The Giants have averaged 26 points per game this season, but have not scored more than 14 points in their last 3 games. The offense must get back to early season form or the Giants will likely continue to struggle. The New York defense has played well despite the offenses struggles and they will need to hang in there until the offense can turn things around. 
 
What to watch for… 
 
The Panther running game is the huge factor in this game. Carolina needs at least one of their two impressive backs to establish the ground game. If that happens, WR Steve Smith will likely get some big plays and the Panthers will continue to roll. The Giants have to find some answers on offense. This team has not looked nothing like the team that was so strong early in the year. QB Eli Manning needs to find some new targets and open up the playbook against the Panthers. 
 
Betting Trends and Stats… 
 
The Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games at home and also 6-1 SU in their past 7 games at home. New York is 16-4 ATS in their last 20 games while reaching the under in the last 3 games. Carolina is 7-1 SU in their past 8 games and 4-2ATS in their last 6 games. The Panthers have gone on the over total in 4 of their last 5 games and also gone on the over total in 6 of their last 9 games on the road. New York won the last meeting between these two teams 27-13 back in 2006. 
 
Pick – Giants cool off the Panthers, Giants 4 out of 5 units

PC Doctors examined.

Computer Act!ve February 19, 2009 | Larsen, Emil Byline: Emil Larsen PC Doctors examined Are PC support services good value? We find out The boom in computing and internet access has been accompanied by several companies offering to fix these IT products. Big businesses such as BT and PC World have entered the fray, offering dozens of fixed-price packages that aim to fix broadband connections, software problems and computer incompatibilities. Some involve a technician making a home visit, while others are remote services where a representative will call and then take full control of the problem computer via the internet. In this article we’ll explain what options are available, what they cost and how to pick the best service for any given problem — and reveal the results of our exclusive test of three of the biggest companies.

If it’s broken, fix it PC support specialists can repair software, recover PCs from viruses and optimise home networks, but they won’t fix genuinely broken products. Physical damage, like if a paper tray has snapped off a printer or a computer screen has been cracked, won’t be repaired by the PC support companies investigated here.

If something like this happens, the manufacturer of the broken product should always be your first port of call. Even if the warranty has run out, their repair service may be cheaper than third-party support companies. Sony, for example, charges [pounds sterling]141 to diagnose out-of-warranty laptops, which is much cheaper than The Tech Guys’ [pounds sterling]229 laptop diagnosis charge.

Replacing the broken product could also be cheaper than paying for support. New wireless routers and printers often cost less than [pounds sterling]100 — much the same price as getting broken ones fixed.

Warranties and statutory rights Inspect the warranty before rushing out to employ an engineer. Most products include a warranty period of at least one year during which it should be simple to obtain a repair or replacement item. Some sellers offer extended warranties but these have, historically, been poor value.

If your warranty expires, don’t assume that there’s no possibility of help. The Sale of Goods Act, which applies to all UK purchases, provides protection against any faults that are ‘inherent’ — present in the product when it was made rather than the result of later damage or mistreatment. The time limit for this protection is six years, or five in Scotland.

If you’ve had the product for a while you may have to prove that it is inherently faulty; normally by getting an expert report. In any case, to make a claim under the Sale of Goods Act you should contact the shop where you bought the product, not the manufacturer. Alternatively, some companies have been known to extend their warranties should a product suffer from widespread problems: Microsoft, for example, extended the warranty on its Xbox 360 console after many suffered from the so called ‘red ring of death’ failure.

Packages on offer So, technical support services shouldn’t be your first port of call for every problem — but there are some problems they can help with. Many provide software support, so if Windows has gone wrong and you can’t get it working properly they may be able to help. Also, if you’ve damaged your computer, it won’t be covered by a warranty or the Sale of Goods Act, but a PC support service might fix it for a fee. Some services also offer setup packages, so they can come out and install a wireless network, for example.

There are, broadly, three types of service package: in-home support, telephone and remote access support on a subscription basis and telephone and remote access support on for a pay as you go basis. Both the remote services have a two-pronged way of dealing with computer problems. An IT technician will call and direct you to a website that loads secure remote access software. The technician will speak to you over the phone while they take full control of your computer to try to help from there.

BT Home IT Support BT’s Home IT Support (www.snipurl.com/ajk49) charges [pounds sterling]9.78 per month for a remote access subscription with a three-month minimum contract, or [pounds sterling]8.80 a month for a 12-month contract. Lines are open 8am-11pm every day. Its pay as you go option, where each incident is charged for separately, costs [pounds sterling]25 and is limited to existing BT customers. Each [pounds sterling]25 charge is limited to 45 minutes of support, so if you think you might need more than one 45 minute session then a three-month contract would be cheaper. site how to fix the red ring of death

An in-home visit starts from [pounds sterling]88, but if the technician stays for more than an hour additional charges apply. One such service is the Broadband Accelerator package (www.snipurl.com/ajlk6), which promises to speed up your broadband by at least 0.5Mbits/sec or your money back. This involves a home visit by a technician who will rewire internal phone cables and optimise your PC for better broadband speeds.

Geek Squad Geek Squad (www.geeksquad.co.uk) charges [pounds sterling]6.99 a month for its full subscription package with a three-month minimum contract. The subscription includes free McAfee anti-virus software and 20GB of space for online backup. Non subscribers can pay [pounds sterling]30 for one-off remote support. One [pounds sterling]30 session can be used to set up a wireless network or a single hardware or software installation.

Home visits start from [pounds sterling]99 but, unlike BT, there’s no fixed time limit on them. Geek Squad says it ‘won’t leave until the job is done to your complete satisfaction’. Home visits are also cheaper by a fifth for subscribers to the [pounds sterling]6.99 remote support service. The Geek Squad’s home visits are limited to London, the South East, and the North West, but its subscription package is available to everyone.

Tech Guys The Tech Guys (www.thetechguys.com) charges a flat fee of [pounds sterling]90 for various in-home services such as PC health checks and wireless network installation. It also offers a range of more expensive non-PC services such as flat screen TV and digital aerial installation. Employing the Tech Guys’ in-home service is a bit tricky as you must pay before you choose a date — at least two days in advance — for the visit.

The Tech Guys also offer a ‘Techfriend’ phone and remote access service. Unlike BT and Geek Squad, you pay [pounds sterling]90 upfront for a year’s cover. Its trump card, however, is the services it offers in PC World shops. PC repair is [pounds sterling]70, upgrade installation costs [pounds sterling]30 and memory installation is [pounds sterling]15. There are more options to choose from and all are cheaper than a home visit.

Go independent Crossloop (www.crossloop.com) is a popular remote help service that allows experts to sell their own expertise online. To use it visit the website, pick an expert and load up Crossloop’s remote access software so the expert can get fixing. Crossloop’s best feature is the reputation system it uses. Like sellers on Ebay, every expert has a rating based on previous customers’ experiences. By choosing somebody with a high rating, you improve your chances of a good quality service. Different experts charge different prices, but a typical hourly rate is just $40 (around [pounds sterling]29), which is a good price when you can choose exactly who to use.

How to pick one Picking a service to use is made far easier if you know what you want done or roughly what might be wrong with your computer. Each service fixes slightly different problems. BT, for example, specialises in broadband problems while The Tech Guys are better suited to PC hardware problems.

If you’re suffering from a software problem and you can access the internet, remember that you might be able to benefit from the experience of others: if you’ve experienced an error, the chances are someone else has. Most problems are accompanied by errors, and a fix can often be found by searching for that exact error. Even if there’s no error message, try to search for the problem you are experiencing. You may find a solution you can use yourself — if not, the information you find may help a technician fix the problem faster.

If you do decide to use a call-out service to fix a problem or set up some equipment, remember to apply some basic safety rules. Only employ a company that you know and trust, and always ask for identification when the technician arrives. It’s also best to have two people at home when a technician comes to visit. Try to follow what the engineer does when they fix your problem. Make notes and don’t be afraid to ask exactly what they are doing — you might learn something that will allow you to fix future problems, for free, yourself. website how to fix the red ring of death

Trials and errors It’s impossible to accurately review PC support services as two separate callouts and technicians, will never be alike. We wanted to see what kind of service was on offer, though, so we arranged to perform blind tests using three of the biggest services in the UK. As a test we created a ‘broken’ laptop, whose memory we had deliberately dislodged as if it had taken a knock. We also asked Geek Squad and BT Home IT Support to fix our ‘slow’ wireless internet, which we had deliberately left unencrypted, and connect our wireless printer.

You’ll find an account of our experiences with BT Home IT support and Geek Squad on page 32 and the Tech Guys to the right. Our experiences varied significantly, with one service failing to fix any of the problems we presented but another fixing our laptop quickly and cheaply. We were disappointed by the home call out services we tried, with one unavailable for over a week and another performing poorly in our test, but our experiences of remote and in-store support were better.

All in all it’s impossible to recommend any one service as the choice, if any, will depend on the type of problem that you are experiencing. Purely judging by price, though, Geek Squad’s [pounds sterling]6.99 monthly subscription service is good value as it includes security software and 20GB of online space for backups. You’re only tied in to a three-month contract, costing just over [pounds sterling]20 in total, and this includes 24-hour remote support.

Our support tips If you still need professional assistance, weigh up the options carefully to ensure that you get the best value. Help over the phone, where a technician takes control of your computer remotely, is generally cheaper than paying somebody to come out and visit, and signing up to a short contract can end up cheaper than paying for one-off assistance. And finally, if you do request a callout, always check the technician’s ID and be nosey: ask what they’re doing, and take notes as these could help you solve problems yourself in future.

Emil Larsen Larsen, Emil

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