Artificial intelligence and xbox 360

Let's leave the format war between Sony and Microsoft and explore a gaming phenomena that unquestionably improves current gaming trends -- Artificial Intelligence, or AI to many. Touted to make new breakthroughs and trends in the world of gaming, AI is the enabling of intricate decision-making capabilities in a software. Speaking of AI, the Xbox 360 boasts of an AI-capable system designed and developed by many brilliant and innovative engineers. Though the Xbox also has this feature, it is more pronounced and better in the new console combined with the HD DVD technology. Of course, such high-quality consoles deserve top-notch games and the developers stepped up to the challenge. Game developers for Xbox and its new improved counterpart also added AI programs to their games, giving the in-game personas the ability to think like a real person. With the vast power of the new consoles, the whole universe of gaming comes alive. A summary of the improvements AI bring to online gaming: non-player characters or NPCs act in realistic manner, not to mention that allies are more helpful and enemies become more fiendish than ever. Such simplistic notions cannot fully express the benefit of AI in a game sequence.

The simplicity of the summation only contrives to hide the complexity of the AI behind the Xbox 360. But the concept of AI is not a modern one. In fact, AI is a subject of discussion, debates, and practical simulations within the academic setting for years. Chris Satchell, Microsoft's General Manager for Game Development, attests to this fact. From the development of Pac-Man, game designers and developers have been employing the use of AI, even if it is just in its simplest state. Take Pac-Man for example, wherein the main objective is to eat as many golden pellets as possible without being eaten by the "ghosts." This simplicity is matched by the elementary pre-scripted AI patterns used. The ghosts almost always follow a straight line but they deviate from their path when they sense your presence. It is noticeable especially when your Pac-Man does not change position at all -- the ghosts move according to the path, changing directions only when they get close to you. Twenty years later since Pac-Man, family computers, and many computer hardware changes, game developers still use the same simplistic AI tricks. The hardwares evolve to accommodate the intensity of the modern graphics as well as the sound system for more biting audio. However, despite these changes, AI programs continue to be a sort of last-minute addition. In fact, the programs are deemed to be unimportant in gaming. As a result, the NPCs, largely remained as stupid bots who don't move even if caught in a crossfire. This is what the AI programs for the Xbox 360 take care of. Satchell affirms that the new processing model composed of three powerful symmetric cores more than makes up for the lack of "reality" of the old console models. He asserts that this new Microsoft innovation is really a paradigmatic shift because the standard for game consoles and computer hardware is the use of a single core. He added that this shift to a three-core system will add considerable burden to the lives of game developers but add to greater delight of all Xbox 360 gamers. This is because a fully AI-capable three-core system provides greater flexibility and more cycles which make gaming more exciting and interesting. The key to achieving that is to make sure that the AI programs of the new Xbox run smoothly on all three cores. Therefore, the developers need to take extensive sections from their codes and test it on all three cores. As a result of all these great efforts, the CPU's main processor does not take all the burden of handling multiple tasks; instead, the added cores take over the job. The results are more efficient gaming, sharper graphics, quality audio, and thinking characters which give Xbox 360 games advantage over others.



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Tax deductions on car donation explained

Any donation you make to help out a worthy cause can also help you with your taxes. If you have an old car parked in your garage and you don’t know what to do with it, car donation is a wonderful way to help a charity. Although the car donation laws have changed, this is still a good way to help yourself and others too. In 2005, the laws changed regarding tax deductions on boats, vehicles or airplanes that are valued over $500. Now, the charity must provide written documentation or acknowledgement within the 30 days of processing your donation. If the charity gives an exaggerated or false statement, they can be fined or penalized. Under the January 2005 rules, your tax break is based on how the charity uses the donated vehicle. If the car is sold, the gross sale price can be deducted. If the charity uses the donated car following the new law for “significant” charity work that is tax approved, you’ll be able to deduct the market value of the vehicle. However, some stiff penalties will be charged for falsified documents. The law is watching carefully those charities not following the rules and regulations involved with car donation. Even though the old laws had some problems, many charities are skeptical about the new car donation laws. A lot of organizations are concerned about what might happen when the responsibility of tax deduction is put under the authority of the charity rather than the donor. Some of them have actually sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary that suggests that people may be discouraged from donating cars if they aren’t aware of the deduction amount that will be allowed. This, they fear will mean that some donors will be lost. Charities feel that donors must be able to weigh the cost of benefit in order to know if it is enough for them. If you do decide to pursue car donation, you will find out that the process is easy. You can contact most charities by phone or online. It is important to ask the charity you wish to get involved with for some specific and important information. This is necessary in order to avoid complications and also be sure you understand the process. It’s not hard, but does require you to fill out some important information and get the car ready.



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Baby gift basket

Baby Gift Basket Ideas Planning to host a baby shower? Or a friend of yours recently gave birth to a healthy bouncing baby? How else could you express that you care for that friend of yours and her baby? A baby gift basket could be the best present that would express your concern. A baby gift basket is one of those themed gift baskets that are presented containing items that are of value to the recipient. Oftentimes these baby gift baskets contain the following items that will surely give delight to the new parents and to the new addition. You could make use of this information to create or stuff your own baby gift basket that will rid you of those more expensive commercialized kinds. Nursery room items. These include colorful mobiles to keep the baby busy, lullaby music to soothe the infant, and nursery rhymes CD's. Bigger items like layettes, changing mats for tables and cribs, and other furniture for the baby may be found in de luxe baby gift baskets. Educational toys are also good to make the baby gift basket more beneficial in stimulating the baby's mental development. Toys R Us. The following toys are also nice to place inside your baby gift basket. Rattles, pacifiers, teethers, feeding bottles, infant cups, bibs and spoons are also useful add-ons in your baby gift basket. Bath Bath Baby. Bath products for babies are also commonly found in baby gift baskets. These include baby shampoo, baby powder, baby towels, wipes, bubble bath, brush set and tub toys that the baby will surely enjoy in the near future. Baby clothing's could also be considered as one of the best baby gift basket goodies that one could ever give. Just be sure that the clothes you'll give suit the gender of the baby. If you are to a baby gift basket to someone with a toddler or a young kid, the items should also suit the baby's age. Soft toys, board books, board games, piggy banks will certainly win the jump with delight of a toddler. Clothes for toddlers are also nice to include in your baby gift basket. If one is intending to give the baby gift basket as a baby shower present, it will be nice if baby cookies, baby cakes, jelly beans and other baby foods will be found there. Announcement and invitation cards may also bring some added surprise to the recipient of the basket. Small picture frames and albums could also add more fun to your baby gift basket. Surely, this sweet gesture will be appreciated. Gourmet food, wines and other fine food may also be placed inside a baby gift basket for the parent's celebration. Oftentimes, bows and ruffles adorn the baby gift basket. But one could still be more creative by doing a decoupage of baby pictures or baby items. Other handmade crafts may add personal touch to your basket. They could be in the form of papier mache', origami, sculpture, small painting, woven or knitted items, etc. If the one giving the baby gift basket intends to give it during a christening celebration or baptism, a small bible, silver cups and any symbolic item that adheres to the theme of the celebration and that the recipient's religion appreciates may also be placed in the basket. A small gesture like giving out a well-thought of baby basket can surely go a long way. The recipient's smile is enough to mean a sincere "thank you".



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Honey great product for skin care

The nectar collected from the flowers is transformed into honey to dress upon some of the most mouth-watering desserts. With the passage of time honey has continued to be one of the main ingredients for skin care. It has maintained its importance due to the beneficial factors. The healing capacity of honey is stupendous making it one of the favorite components for home remedies. Honey has many good properties like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, chlorine, sulfur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins like B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3. There is presence of copper, iodine and zinc in small quantities. Honey is very good for your skin due to its properties. You can use honey for face mask as it treats your skin very well. It nourishes your skin by the essential properties present in it. It is very good to remove wrinkles from face and works as an anti-aging remedy.

Honey is able to maintain moisture which helps your skin remain soft and supple. The hydration quality of the honey proves to maintain the skins elasticity, smoothness and softness. The presence of antioxidants in honey protects you from UV rays. Recipes Honey Cleanser Mix 1 tbsp. honey, 2 tbsp. finely ground almonds with 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Rub it on your face. Rinse it with warm water. Honey Toner Make a concoction of 1 tbsp. honey with peeled and deseeded apple. Apply this paste on your face for 15 minutes. Rinse it with cool water. Honey Facial Mask 1 tbsp. honey, 1 egg white, 1 tsp glycerin and in proportion add flour to all the ingredients to whisk up a smooth paste. Spread this paste all over your face including the neck and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. For A Pleasing Bath To have relaxing bath add 1/4 cup honey to your bath water and ease out in that smooth and silky water. A Smooth Conditioner Mix 1 tsp. honey with 1 tsp. vegetable oil and 1/4 tsp lemon juice. This mixture is very natural conditioner to be rubbed on every part of your body which is dry. Leave it on for 10 minutes and later rinse it off. Acne Reliever Mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/4 tsp salt. Use a cotton ball to soften the blemish by applying constant pressure. Apply honey with the help of cotton and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash it and pat it dry. Lip Care The use of honey on chapped lips is a great hit. Body Scrub Use 1/4 cup freshly ground coffee, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp. wheat germ, 2 tbsp. honey, 1 tbsp grape seed oil, 1 egg white. Mix buttermilk, honey, grape seed oil and egg white. Keep adding coffee and wheat germ to this mixture slowly to avoid any lumps. Apply this paste all over your body when in bath helping in exfoliation. Rinse it completely and pat dry to see the effects. Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.



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Tales from the blogosphere

: I entered the blogosphere fairly late in the game. More than three years after starting and managing several busy forums and web sites, I dabbled with blogging through regular entries to one of my aviation web sites. Within weeks I got tired of the discipline – not of writing – but of ftp’ing everything to the web. I gave up as I decided blogging wasn’t for me. Fortunately, I didn’t stay away as I saw a challenge, and an opportunity, in front of me. Having blogged on other people’s sites, I felt that if I could blog there, I could blog anywhere, including on my own blogs. Taking a look at my options, I decided to download WordPress and I now run two blogs from two separate web sites. I am thrilled with each blog’s success and have no plans of giving up on what I am doing. In fact, I am mulling over starting a couple of more blogs as I see the value of this type of medium online. So, how are my site’s doing? Very well according to my sites’ statistics.

No, there isn’t much activity as far as comments go, but my information is getting read and the blogs are bringing additional traffic to both sites. Let’s just say that the traffic increases alone have been enough to keep me going, but other factors weigh in including: Blurbs – There are times when a full length article just doesn’t cut it, but a blurb [pithy paragraph] does. Blogs are great for showcasing tidbits of information and allowing bloggers to link to the full article if more information is desired. Links – On my Jet Movements blog, I added over 200 aviation related links recently. Within days, traffic to my site increased and the first page rankings came back from Google. Less than six weeks after starting, the traffic to this particular blog has been great. Showcase – My second blog, The Article Writer, has helped me communicate better to my customers.

Now, my customers can read about my writing style, my comments on raising SEO, book reviews, and more. This blog has given a “human touch” to an otherwise good, but too-business-like web site. Idea Farm – Some of my blogs have turned into articles as I have taken a short, concise work and expanded on what I wrote through an article. Saves me time, too, as all I have to do is add a couple of extra paragraphs and my article is usually done. Yes, blogging is a great way to communicate for business folks as well as teens. Some have thought that blogging was a fad, but I must say that it isn’t and it is certainly here to stay. Have you started your blog yet?



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How to build an emergency fund

Finding the money that you need to take care of unexpected situations can be difficult; many people are unprepared for the unexpected, and sudden changes in their lives can create debts that they can't easily recover from. In order to be prepared for unexpected situations that may arise, financial experts recommend that individuals create an emergency fund that contains at least the amount that the individual requires to get by for a period of two months. Of course, most people have difficulty maintaining that much of a buildup… if they attain it at all. There are a variety of methods that can be used to help you build an emergency fund, however; several of the most common are listed below so as to help you in creating your own fund to better prepare you for the unexpected. Certificates of Deposit A common way to try to build up an emergency fund is the use of shorter-term certificates of deposit. Individuals can put the amount that they have built up through other means into six month or one year certificates, using the penalties for early withdrawal as an incentive to not cash them out until after their maturity. Once the certificate has matured and the interest has been collected, the individual can then either transfer the amount into a savings account or they can put it back into another shorter-term certificate. As time goes by, the additional interest will help to build up the emergency fund aided by any additional deposits that the individual makes into the fund. Rounding Up Cheques Another method of building up an emergency fund involves rounding up written cheques to the next highest whole amount, thus leaving a small amount in your chequeing account that isn't accounted for in the cheque ledger. Though each cheque written will only yield a small amount of “hidden” funds, as more cheques are written that amount will continue to grow. At the end of each month, you should inquire as to the actual balance of your chequeing account and transfer the difference between your actual balance and the balance listed in your ledger into your savings account. This method can help to build funds especially well if it is combined with other methods as well. Building a Buffer with Pay Raises When you receive a pay raise, it can be a great opportunity to begin putting aside savings in order to build an emergency fund. Instead of using all of your payroll cheque, calculate the amount of it that is from the pay raise and deposit that amount into your savings for your emergency fund. Since this is an additional amount to what you were used to previously, it shouldn't be as difficult to set it aside instead of using it directly. Once you've built up the balance in your savings account, you can later begin putting your raise amount into your chequeing or dividing it between chequeing and savings. Putting Pocket Change to Work One method of building an emergency savings that is often overlooked is the pocket change that you have left over at the end of the day. By designating a container for collecting your change and spare small bills, you can slowly build up a significant amount in much the same manner that you would if you were rounding up cheques that you write. You can deposit the contents of your change container either once per month or whenever the container gets full. Like all of the methods above, this can work best when combined with other methods. You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:



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Attendance recording system

Attendance Recording System: Attendance Recording System allows the companies to manage, monitor and produce reports of employee’s attendance. This system fits easily into the business structure and gives you greater control over your staff. It is mainly used by companies which have more than hundreds or thousands of employees. They are used in areas such as healthcare, financial services, transportation or distribution, retail management, government, manufacturing, and hospitality. Attendance recording system provides an accurate means of recording employee entries, exits breaks, absence and leaves. This can be compiled to produce the total hours worked and the amount that the employees should be paid. More advanced systems can automatically consolidate this information across multiple locations, track how hours are allocated across projects, and monitor overtime hours. Attendance recording system handles company’s time and attendance and access control needs. In attendance recording system, an employee has to press his or her thumb on the small machine fixed on a wall to record their attendance. The impression of the thumb matches with the one already stored in a computer, and this enters his or her attendance. Some employees use identifying cards to punch in and out. Time and attendance recording systems lets the employees enter their own information directly into the system, including flex-time hours, vacation time, and sick day information. By using attendance recording system you can make the attendance sheet into self-service attendance machine. Time and attendance recording machine has the following advantages : saves time and there is no need to manually take the attendance, provides authentication, eliminates errors, promotes employee self-service, manages and controls absenteeism, there is no way to check off someone else's name by mistake. You also have the additional benefit of not having to issue cards, or replace lost ones. They can also cut down on time theft, buddy punching, extended lunches, and other time tracking problems. The systems reduce potential mistakes automatically by transferring information between company systems. Time and attendance systems often have a Web version of the employee module, which allows workers to enter their time using a Web browser. Its flexible design runs on both PCs under Windows and UNIX workstations. Most systems are compatible with over 20 databases including Ingres, Sybase, and Oracle, and run on all major network environments, thus, providing instant access to all time and attendance functions. Time and attendance systems help companies to reduce and control costs by permitting employees to access non-critical information in a simple, secure, and safe manner. Most systems are Web-enabled and are integrated with current Internet technology Whether it involves the calculation of overtime, variable or flexible work hours, or exchanging data from and to other applications, like payroll - or human resource systems, time and attendance recording system offers a complete and flexible solution. Employee time and attendance machines range in cost from less to very high cost. The requirement depends upon the number of employees to monitor, the number of locations to track, and the information reporting requirements. There are several time attendance equipments available in the market and some are manufactured as per the requirements of the particular organization.



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What is the cost of college tuition

What is the average cost of college tuition? This is one question that most parents and future students ask themselves and need to know in order to plan for a college education. The national average college tuition rate for public universities is $4,694 per year for in state residents. This figure includes both tuition rates and fees for a full time student. The average college tuition rate at private colleges and universities is around $20,000 per year in tuition and fees.

Many students take advantage of the low tuition rates of two-year public colleges and junior colleges. The average tuition for a two year school is only $2,076 per year. College Tuition Increase While it is good to get an idea of the current cost of tuition, it is also important to understand the expected increase in tuition costs. Parents and students who still have several years before entering college should be keenly aware of the projected estimates rather than the current costs so that they can plan accordingly. Tuition rates increase at about twice the general inflation rate. On average, tuition rates tend to increase about 8% per year. Some academic years see a greater increase than others and many economic factors come into play when a college decides to increase tuition. For the school year 2005-2006 many colleges dramatically raised tuition rates. An example of such tuition hikes is at the University of Colorado where tuition rates have been raised for all of the system's campuses. Tuition at the Boulder campus will go up by 27.8 percent, from $3,480 to $4,446. Other University of Colorado campuses will see a similar increase. And now the good news… Even though college tuition rates increase, more students than ever are benefiting from educational aid programs. According to a report from The College Board, "In 2003-04, the amount the average student actually paid for a public four-year institution, after receiving grant aid and education tax benefits, was about $1,300 per student." Government grants such as the pell grant provide funding for many college students. In fact for students who attend two-year colleges the grant award may cover the entire cost of tuition. Scholarship programs awarded by colleges, businesses and non profit organizations are available to help students defray the cost of college tuition. There are many college scholarship programs available and it is becoming even easier to find these programs with the use of the internet. With a combination of savings, financial aid, and scholarships many students today are able to afford college tuition and further their education.



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Becoming self sufficient thanks to consulant

Becoming Self Sufficient Thanks To Consulant No matter how much you might like your business consultant, there's a good chance that you don't want to have to have them on your payroll indefinitely. So when you are hiring a new business consultant, that is something that you will want to keep in mind. You will want to hire a person that will help you, or your company, help itself. When you conduct interviews, let your prospective consultant know that you would like your company to become self sufficient. Find out what kinds of training that the person can provide for you and your employees. If you are up front about your expectations and what you are looking to get out of your business relationship, then neither of you will go into the the agreement with false expectations. If your goal is to help your company to become self sufficient, be aware that there will be consultants who will not want to do this. After all, if your company becomes self sufficient, it will mean that their services are no longer required. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, of course. If you keep your consultant on without learning things yourself you know that they are always there to answer any questions you have. On the other hand, if you or your company becomes self sufficient you will have tools that you can use in the future, and you will save money in the long run. Only you can decide what is the best decision for you.



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Quo vadis new graduate

According to a recent survey by Job Outlook, for the third year now there is a positive increase in hiring fresh college graduates for 2006. Business owners plan on hiring more from the class of 2005-06 than they did from the 2004-05 class as well as offering higher compensation and benefits for the new hires. In the annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nine out of ten companies describe the new job market as good, very good, and excellent. Public accounting and consulting firms narrated the brightest prospect for the future graduates, while engineering and construction firms supported the idea by saying they'll also be hiring. There is a growing demand for new graduates in the job market as a result of the also growing products and services they offer and to keep up with the retiring HR staff. Who are in demand?

• Mechanical engineering • Electrical engineering • Accounting • Business administration/ management • Economics/finance • Computer science • Information sciences and systems • Marketing/marketing management • Computer engineering • Chemical engineering Mechanical engineering graduates topped the list and eyeing on them are aerospace, automotive, mechanical equipment manufacturers. They also plan on hiring graduates with Ph. D.s in science and computer related courses. Banking, transportation, financial, and insurance services are seeking Economics/Finance graduates. The food and beverage processing companies, merchandisers, and financial services will need more Business Administration/Management degree holders. One-third of business owners plan on hiring associate graduates categorized into three: technology, engineering and business related degrees. Insurance and engineering/surveying companies appear the most in need of 2 year course graduates for they bear a productive kind of technical knowledge which does not require more training. They belong to the hands-on work force who developed a good work ethic which is sadly observed by employers as missing in previous amateur graduates. During the survey, only 23.5%, (mainly manufacturers) respondents planned on hiring international graduates in 2006. What qualities should a new graduate possess? • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills • Must be honest and has a high regard with integrity • Can easily relate to others • Maintain strong work ethic • Can work well with others – TEAMWORK • Analytical skills • Must be self motivated and initiative • Adaptability to change • Updated computer skills • Observant to details The standards of companies’ ideal candidates are often higher than the last year’s. It is important that new graduates show good G. P.A. s as full time jobs come with good benefits coming from good revenues. Salary, should not be the sole consideration when looking for a job, benefits are part of it. Here are some of the lists of benefits: • Life and Medical/Dental insurance • Retirement plans • Annual and semi-annual increase • Employee counseling program • Dress code • Paid trainings • Bonus and commissions • Family benefits • Flexi-time • Performance updates • Vacation and sick leaves • On-site fitness and recreational facilities • Day care center • Company car/service The best places to seek competitive employers can be on campus job fairs, during on-the-job-trainings, student organizations and clubs, Internet search job search engines, etc. What’s important is that you target the right employers. Don’t let an opportunity pass, get in the interview to know more about their career offers and don’t forget to research about the company. You must be able to discuss your career objectives and compose a list of relevant and creative questions you can ask yourself.



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Quiz is your debt causing depression

Are you feeling hopeless about the future? Are you feeling hopeless and helpless about your current situation? Are you feeling depressed? Do you find no way to come out of this hopelessness? It is time to consult a Doctor about your depression. Can your depression be related to your debts? Are you also having debts to repay?

Debts can cause constant worry and make us feel depressed. Especially when we have no ready plan to repay our debt, the depression can be severe. What are you planning about your debt? Have you planned any repayment schedule? Have you planned any method to increase your income? If not, please begin doing that. Let us look at this problem in totality. You have a certain income.

You have a certain debt. You have certain expenses. You have to save money from your income and repay small amount every month so that one-day you are out of it. The first step is to write down all these figures. Then think of every method that can increase your income.

Similarly try to reduce your expenses. This will obviously give you more money to repay. Now talk to your creditors. Ask them for rescheduling the debt so that is comfortable for you to repay. Approach them positively and explain the position. Be optimistic. They will agree.

Feeling hopeless never solves the problem. Finding solution will do that. Fight your debt related depression with proper strategy and planning.



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Silent auctions all done all done sold

Silent auctions are a way of disposing of auction items without employing the services of an auctioneer – one of the main reasons silent auctions are popular as charity and organizational fundraisers. Here’s how it works. The items to be auctioned are put on display. For example, a chamber of commerce may have solicited goods and services from people in the community for sale at an annual chamber banquet or other event. If you’re interested, you simply browse through the offerings. Find something you like? Bidding is easy. You just pick up a pen and write down your name along with what you’d pay for that item The point is that you’re not bidding “in the dark” like sealed bid auctions. In that case, you submit your bid in writing in a sealed envelope. The envelope is opened and the highest (or lowest, as the case may be) bidder is notified. But in silent auctions, you have the opportunity to see what someone else bid on a particular item. Often, you can even see who submitted that bid, though some silent auctions assign numbers for your bidding to ensure anonymity. If you enjoy auctions, there are some real pros and some cons to silent auctions. One of the biggest pros is that there’s no need to stand around and wait for the item you’re interested in to come around – a process that sometimes takes hours. Instead of waiting until the auctioneer comes to that item, you can just walk around and bid on whatever catches your eye. If you think that the excitement of bidding against another bidder is absent from silent auctions, think again. The bidding can sometimes become fierce with several people “guarding” the item they are bidding on to watch for opposing bidders. When that happens, the people who are most interested in the item may get into a “silent” bidding war, just as in a traditional auction. One will barely wait for another to move before placing a new bid. One negative of the silent auctions is that you have to watch an item you’re interested in. Typically, there will be a notice that the auction is about to draw to a close so that you have one last chance to check the status of your bids, and to make one last bid. Another negative is that it’s more difficult to make small increment bids that really count. The best way to scare off other bidders and potential bidders is to simply make a large jump in your bid amount. Silent auctions can be a good way to raise money, and can be incredibly fun for the bidder.



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Learn spanish in spain

Spanish is undoubtedly the growth language in the world at the moment; it is now spoken by an estimated 352 million people as a first language (with a further 417 million speaking it as a second language) making it the second or third most widely spoken language in the world. Hispanic nations are also showing strong economic growth so the potential for work opportunities in Spanish speaking countries for those learning Spanish, is increasing everyday. Spanish is now arguably the second most influential language in the world behind English and in all is spoken in 21 countries around the world. South America, with the exception from Brazil, is entirely Spanish speaking, as well as areas of Africa, the Caribbean and an ever growing Hispanic community in the USA. Which such a huge and diverse Spanish speaking world community, it’s without a doubt one of the most useful languages to learn – a Spanish language course could open up many opportunities in terms of work and travel throughout the Spanish speaking world. Spanish language schools in Spain and South America offer students more than just the opportunity to study Spanish in the classroom. The concept of cultural immersion encourages students to extend their learning to outside the classroom. Students get the chance to interact with locals in everyday situations whether it’s simply ordering some food or attempting a full-blown conversation on the day’s issues.

This is also a great help in giving students a solid cultural grounding, many language schools in Spain offer extra-curricular activities and excursions to assist with this process. The whole experience of a foreign country adds to the excitement, not only do you get the chance to learn Spanish but you also get the chance to discover beautiful cities (like Barcelona, Madrid or Seville), sample the joys of Spanish cuisine first hand and experience the warmth and good nature of the Spanish people. Language schools such as Babylon-Idiomas (http:// babylon-idiomas. com/eng/htm/learn-spanish-spain.

htm) offer learning centres in four major Spanish cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Valencia) as well as in Costa Rica and Argentina as well – all very diverse and extremely different environments in which to learn a language and all with their own cultural nuances and wonderful sights to offer; from the eco-tourism and amazing wildlife of Costa Rica, to the majestic architecture of Gaudi’s “Sagrada Familia” in Barcelona. It is important to remember, however, that spoken Spanish is not identical in the different regions of the Spanish state. In fact, its pronunciation and lexical characteristics can vary to a very significant extent from one place to another. However, the maintenance of a unified, standard, version of the Spanish language and of its written form is guaranteed by the Real Academia de la Lengua Espaсola. The Academia sets the rules to follow in order to speak and write in a way that is accepted by all the different Spanish speakers.



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7 strategies for success with distance learning

Distance learning has opened doors for many students, especially for those who cannot afford to pay for the high fees of full-time courses. Although online distance learning courses have many advantages over on-campus degree courses, many factors come into play in order to make this a success for students. Due to the differences in the way that education is being delivered and acquired, adjustments and changes in approaches need to be undertaken. 1. Selecting the right distance learning school The first element for success is to choose the right distance learning school. There are many unscrupulous “degree mills” around in the market that are only keen to sell their degrees without providing good education and ample student support. As a result, the degrees offered by these institutions may not be recognized, or may sometimes even be regarded as bogus degrees. In order to prevent this, do the proper background check on the institution you are considering with the relevant authorities to verify on their accreditation and authenticity before registering. 2. Cost-benefit analysis Some students enroll in an online distance learning course without doing a cost benefit analysis of taking the course in the first place. It is a known fact that obtaining an education requires a hefty sum of investment. However, this should be compared with the potential additional income that can be generated from the degree that is earned. Only then can the full rewards be reaped from gaining an online degree. 3. Degree positioning to employers There have been many cases where employers were wary of the validity of online degrees. With so many online institutions selling degrees, it is justified for employers to exercise caution. Although a distance learning degree may be 100% legitimate, it would help if you provide adequate explanation on the accreditation of the degree in order to avoid misunderstanding. By stressing that the accreditation body which accredited your institution or your program is recognized by the US Department of Education as well as CHEA, you can then eliminate any doubts that employers about the validity of your degree. You can read more information on why accreditation is important at http:// distance-learning-college-guide. com/college-accreditation. html. 4. Exercise discipline, determination and time management In the actual course of study, many students lack discipline and focus and therefore are unable to keep up with online lessons and assignments. It is very important for distance learning students to have great determination to succeed, as it is very easy to get de-motivated and distracted when you are alone with no peers. Good time management along with communication with other students would make excellent measures for success. 5. Make full use of facilities provided Many distance learning online courses offer online lectures and email correspondence to facilitate communication with lecturers, tutors and other students. These facilities should be utilized as much as possible as it provides a link back to the education institution. Furthermore, this would be a great source of motivation in order to keep progressing through the course of study. 6. Utilize credit transfers Most distance learning institutions allow students to transfer their credits from other courses that they had taken from other universities or colleges. This way, students will not have to repeat what they have already learnt. In order to do this, it is important for distance learning students to obtain transcripts and results from their previous schools and send them to their distance learning online university to obtain credit transfers. 7. Good utilization of technology for education The final element for distance learning success it the ability to make full use of the conveniences that technology has to offer. Many online universities provide students with online research resources that are valuable for completing assignments or producing research papers. The cost of facilities such as virtual libraries and online books has probably been factored into the fees paid and therefore it makes good sense to utilize these facilities to the fullest.



Online 7 strategies for success with distance learning

Start your business

РПаЎ±б>юя ')юяяя&яяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяямҐБ5@ рїИbjbjП2П2 "­X­XИяяяяяя€PPPPPPPdhhhhtd™~ЊЊЊЊЊЊЊЊ$Ri ё>PЊЊЊЊЊ>PPЊЊSВВВЊ PЊPЊВЊВ.ВрPPрЊЂ`ћоБсҐЖh–рi0™р!¬!рddPPPP!Pр(ЊЊВЊЊЊЊЊ>>ddhВddhSafe Way to Start Your Own BusinessHopefully, you took my advice last week and you have a handy-dandy list now of what you want to do. We know you want to start your own business; hopefully you now know what it will be. Being used to a steady paycheck from a regular job, with a family or other financial obligations, makes stepping out of your comfort zone a little risky. It doesn’t seem to matter how miserable you are in that job, the alternative scares the pants off many of us. There is a safer way of jumping off that cliff and it entails your current boss. Your employer could be your ticket to a successful freelance business, if his business doesn’t conflict with your dreams. If you were thinking of starting a freelance copywriting business, you could negotiate a contract with your current employer for 50% of your time for the first year after you leave. This would give you a springboard for finding other clients while still covering your monthly expenses. You’re probably wondering about now, why your employer would agree to sign a contract for half of your time? There are a number of reasons, and they can result in a “win-win” situation for both of you. If you’re on good terms with your employer, chances are he doesn’t want to lose you. It takes time to train someone to fill your job and train them to the company’s way of being productive. Even if he decides to replace you, it can take months to gather resumes, interview candidates, and hire the right person. During that time you can be performing job functions from your home office, perhaps even training your replacement and providing your boss with a smoother transition by minimizing the disruption to his business. If you’re not on good terms with your boss and the company is downsizing, merging, or being bought out, you can help them avoid the unpleasantness and cost of firing you. You are actually doing them a favor by restructuring this in the form of a contract for services that can be “stretched out” for a period of time if needed. Frankly, if an employer has to choose between letting you go and paying severance and benefits versus signing a contract for a time period, which do you think they’d prefer? Signing and getting tangible work and services in return without the costs associated with terminating you is a much better deal for him. The contract may even be allocated from a different budget category, making it more affordable for the company. There’s another reason your boss may opt for a contract, and that is your knowledge. You are already familiar with the company, its clients and services. You’re able to provide the services they need and you understand what has to be done. Many creative people have used this logic in approaching their bosses to negotiate their first contract and go out on their own. If you’re interested in starting your own business your current job can provide the security you need in your first year. 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Online Start your business

There s no such thing as a free ringtone

There is nothing worse than being duped. Not only do you feel like an idiot, you are left to pay for an item or service you don’t want. The latest scam is the ringtone subscription service. Companies advertising free ringtone downloads, targeted at teenagers, have caught many users in expensive subscription ‘clubs’. The con is simple: Aggressively market your product as “free”, wait until a user enters their mobile number to access the “free” download, then send the user 30 ringtones a month at a cost of 5 USD per ringtone. Premium SMS subscription services, like ringtone ‘clubs’ allow mobile phones to be used like credit cards. Legality is addressed in the terms and conditions agreement, a small box on the subscription form that must be ticked before processing. Written in practically illegible 9pt sans serif text, terms and conditions usually pop up in a small window which must then be maximised. Typically, the word ‘subscription’ and service pricing appear only in the terms and conditions.

For example: By clicking the “COMPLETE” button you agree to subscribe to Any Club's ringtone service. You will be sent your choice of ringtone FREE of charge as a bonus for joining Any Club. The service allows you to download up to 4 ringtones each week. The US$4.95 charge will be billed to your mobile bill twice per week. To stop this subscription service at any time, SMS “STOP”, to short code 77777777. Your phone must be polyphonic compatible, be Internet-enabled and have text messaging capability. You must be the owner of this device and either be at least sixteen years old or have the permission of your parent or guardian. Artist names used for identification purposes only. Standard text messaging rates apply. For help contact customer service at 1-123-456-789. This standard terms and conditions script can be found at any ringtone website purporting to provide free content. In practice, terms and conditions protect the ringtone supplier, once the box is checked the customer can be said to have recognised the stipulations of the agreement. Thus the blame is conveniently shifted from the ringtone supplier, to the customer. The customer, it is claimed, should have read the terms despite being (mis)led to the website on the pretense of free content. Recently, thanks to a spate of consumer complaints, several ringtone providers have been forced to change their advertising policy. In the UK complaints of misleading advertising against ringtone company Jamster! have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority. In the US a lawsuit has been brought against Jamster!, accusing the ‘Crazy Frog’ proprietors of fraud, false advertising, unfair business practices. Legal action may result in greater transparency on behalf of operators like Jamster! However, consumers should recall the cliche “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, and be highly suspicious of any website offering free mobile content.



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Toothache could it be more then just a little pain

What is a Toothache? A "Toothache" can usually be referred to as pain that is felt around the teeth and or jaw. The cause of a toothache in most cases is by either problems with your jaw and or tooth. In most cases you (and I am talking from experience here) you would just leave it and wait for the pain to subside, but this isn't the correct thing to do. Toothaches are a sign that there may be more to worry about then just a little pain. The causes of toothache are several but the major causes are, dental cavity, a cracked tooth, exposed tooth root, gum disease, disease of the jaw joint or spasms of the muscles used for chewing. It is possible for the cause of a toothache to originate from an entirely different problem such as heart attack or angina but this is quite rare. It can be noted however that some patients suffering angina will show toothache or jaw pain as the only symptoms so it is always best to let your dentist or doctor evaluate you. What are the most common dental causes for a toothache? Dental Cavities The most common cause of a toothache is a dental cavity. Dental cavities (caries) are holes in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel and the dentin. The enamel is the outermost white hard surface and the dentin is the yellow layer just beneath the enamel. Both layers serve to protect the inner living tooth tissue called the pulp, where blood vessels and nerves reside. Certain bacteria i n the mouth convert simple sugars into acid. The acid softens and (along with saliva) dissolves the enamel and dentin, creating cavities. Small shallow cavities may not cause pain and may be unnoticed by the patient. The larger deeper cavities can collect food debris. The inner living pulp of the affected tooth can become irritated by bacterial toxins or by foods that are cold, hot, sour, or sweet-causing toothache. Toothache from these larger cavities is the most common reason for visits to dentists. Treatment of a small and shallow cavity usually involves a dental filling. Treatment of a larger cavity involves an onlay or crown. Treatment of a cavity that has penetrated and injured the pulp requires either a root canal procedure or extraction of the affected tooth. Injury to the pulp can lead to death of pulp tissue, resulting in tooth infection (dental abscess). The treatment of an infected tooth is either removal of the tooth or a root canal procedure. The root canal procedure involves removing the dying pulp tissue (thus avoiding or removing tooth infection) and replacing it with an inert material. The procedure is used in an attempt to save the dying tooth from extraction. Gum Disease The second most common cause of toothache is gum disease. Gum disease refers to inflammation of the soft tissue (gingiva) and abnormal loss of bone that surrounds the teeth and holds them in place. Gum disease is caused by toxins secreted by bacteria in "plaque" that accumulate over time along the gum line. This plaque is a mixture of food, saliva, and bacteria. Early symptoms of gum disease include gum bleeding without pain. Pain is a symptom of more advanced gum disease as the loss of bone around the teeth leads to the formation of gum pockets. Bacteria in these pockets cause gum infection, swelling, pain, and further bone destruction. Advanced gum disease can cause loss of otherwise healthy teeth. Treatment of early gum disease involves oral hygiene and removal of bacterial plaque. Moderate to advanced gum disease usually requires a thorough cleaning of the teeth and teeth roots called "root planing" and "subgingival curettage." Root planing is the removal of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from exposed teeth roots while subgingival curettage refers to the removal of the surface of the inflamed layer of gum tissue. Both of these procedures are usually performed under local anesthesia and may be accompanied by the use of oral antibiotics to overcome gum infection or abscess. Follow-up treatment may include various types of gum surgeries. In advanced gum disease with significant bone destruction and loosening of teeth, teeth splinting or teeth extractions may be necessary. Tooth Root Sensitivities Chronic gum disease also contributes to toothache due to root sensitivities. The roots are the lower 2/3 of the teeth that are normally buried in bone. The bacterial toxins dissolve the bone around the roots and cause the gum and the bone to recede, exposing the roots. The exposed roots can become sensitive to cold, hot, and sour foods because they are no longer protected by healthy gum and bone. The sensitivities may be so severe that the patient avoids any cold or sour foods. Early stages of root exposure can be treated with topical fluoride gels applied by the dentist or with special toothpastes (such as Sensodyne or Denquel) which contain fluorides and other minerals. These minerals are absorbed by the surface layer of the roots to make the roots stronger and less sensitive to the oral environment. If the root exposure causes injury and death of the inner living pulp tissue of the tooth, then a root canal procedure or tooth extraction may be necessary. Cracked Tooth Syndrome "Cracked Tooth Syndrome" refers to toothache caused by a broken tooth (tooth fracture) without associated cavity or advanced gum disease. Biting on the area of tooth fracture can cause severe sharp pains. These fractures are usually due to chewing or biting hard objects such as hard candies, pencils, nuts, etc. Sometimes, the fracture can be seen by painting a special dye on the cracked tooth. Treatment usually involves protecting the tooth with a full-coverage gold or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. However, if placing a crown does not relieve pain symptoms, a root canal procedure may be necessary. What should I do about my toothache? A toothache should always be professionally treated by a dentist. However there are some self methods that will help with the pain until a dentist appointment can be made. Apply a cold compress (e. g bag of frozen beans from the freezer) against the outside of the cheek. Rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water Use dental floss to remove any food particles from the area Taking an aspirin Please not none of these remedies should be used instead of seeing a dentist but only for temporary pain relief. Toothaches are usually a mask for an underlying problem which may be worse. Toothache Prevention These are the standard prevention methods, but you know what. THEY WORK…. Brush in between meals or twice a day Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride (most do these days) Ask your dentist about using a tongue cleaner (this is important specifically for people who smoke or whose tongues are coated or deeply grooved) Ask your dentist which mouthwash he or she recommends using. Schedule regular trips to your dentist (the dentist will recommend every 6 months) Do not smoke or use tobacco products Do not use illegal drugs, such as methamphetamines which cause tooth and gum problems By following the majority of these you should have healthy, clean and pain free teeth for the majority of your life. In conclusion a toothache should always be treated by a dentist as it could lead to something more serious. Following the tooth prevention method's above will in most cases keep your teeth nice and health and keep you away from the dentist.



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Asthmatics don t suffer at altitude

Some kinds of exercise cause problems for asthmatics. Activities like climbing and skiing have an additional problem. Not only are there the exercise problems, but the altitude itself can cause an additional challenge of its own. It is possible that people with asthma are more likely to be affected by altitude sickness. But what is altitude sickness? And why should asthma sufferers be more likely to suffer from it? Simply put, people who live at lower altitudes can become ill when they visit high areas. They can feel light-headed, suffer from headache, suffer from fatigue, insomnia and palpitations, or experience lack of appetite, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. One of the most acute collections of symptoms is around breathing difficulties; liquid accumulates in the lungs. Will altitude affect your asthma? The conditions are high altitudes are often dry and cold, and these conditions tend to worsen or trigger asthma. If your asthma is triggered by cold conditions, you might find that high altitudes are a problem, as the air temperature usually decreases at higher altitudes. Bear in mid, though, that fit, healthy people with well-controlled asthma should have no problems coping with high altitudes, provided that they go up slowly. Recognise and accept your limitations. Make sure you have all your medicines with you. You may need to adjust your dose, and to plan your intake before, through and after your activity. But be careful. In freezing conditions, pressurized inhalers may not work properly. They should be warmed (e. g. in the hands) before use. Take it easy Climbing and skiing can be very strenuous exercise and may trigger exercise-induced asthma in some people. Some kinds of asthma may be eased If your asthma is triggered by house-dust mites, you may even find that your asthma improves. Surprised? Why should this be? Simply because the house-dust mite cannot survive at altitudes higher than 'the snow line'. Take time to acclimatize People with asthma who fly directly into a place that is at high altitude will not have time to acclimatize and may experience problems. So talk to your doctor so that the altitude if you're flying to a high-altitude destination several weeks before you leave. This will allow you time to work out a personal asthma action plan for the trip. Your plan might involve increasing your preventer treatment for several weeks before the trip to give the airways extra protection. Or measuring peak flow while away to determine how altitude is affecting your lung function. Or even simple things like ensuring that you have enough medication and backup medication. Take care when exercising Make sure you feel right at any particular altitude before going higher. If you start feeling breathless, slow down. Drink plenty of water, and eat small snacks often to prevent altitude sickness. And, do tell your fellow climbers and skiers that you're asthmatic. Remember to take everything in stages, talk to your doctor and keep your medicines to hand, and you should have a better time this winter. Copyright 2006 David Drinkall



Online Asthmatics don t suffer at altitude

Magnetic therapy how and why magnets effect the body

Have you ever read or have been told that "it is not known why magnets work"? Well, this is untrue. All human and animal bodies are electromagnetic in nature and this fact is closely allied to the chemical balance of the body which can be in either a healthy or an unhealthy state. It is now known scientifically that a healthy body contains fluids that are slightly alkaline and that an unhealthy body is acidic. A poor diet can make the body acidic and in this state all sorts of dis-eases will thrive. (Dr John Millward MD, "Your Life in the Balance", available on our website.) It is also known that at damaged sites in the body, exists a positive electrical charge which affects both the chemical balance the electrical balance in the area resulting in pain. In order to effect healing, the body's own systems send a negative electrical charge to the area. (Dr Robert Becker, "The Body Electric") This healing action of the body is easily restricted by poor diet, lifestyle, alcohol, drugs etc. There is also a lot of evidence of something called "Magnetic Deficiency Syndrome" being a major contributor to restricting the body's ability to respond to illness. I will be looking in depth at this syndrome in a later article. It is now firmly established that a negative magnetic field, provided by a geomagnetic north pole magnetic field (the same as the Earth's North Pole), is the most natural way of providing much needed support for the body's own immune system. Dr W Philpott MD, a practitioner of magnet therapy for over 40 years explains that negative magnetic fields oxygenate and alkalise by aiding the body's defences and helping to relieve pain. Further, they combat inflammation and infection and enhance deep restorative sleep. This latter point is extremely important. In order to combat maladies that result from the stress of our current lifestyles, the correct amount of good quality sleep is essential. Combine this with the possibility of at least reducing the amount of powerful drugs taken and what results is a completely natural complementary therapy. It is probably wise at this stage just to say that anyone reading this article that is undergoing a course of treatment with a health professional should not stop the treatment but consider using magnetic therapy in support. Also, magnetic therapy should not be used if any electronic implants are present in the body. Given the correct choice and placement of magnetic device, this is probably the most effective alternative therapy available. Typical successful application results in 80 to 90% of cases, higher with some forms of dis-ease. Magnet therapy can be applied by you whenever and wherever needed. Modern materials technology has produced small powerful inexpensive magnets which can be used anywhere on the body and can be moved about to find the best positions. Sleeping on magnets provides a most efficacious application. In the next article in this series, I will be looking at the subject of magnets, their strength measurement and a complete explanation of polarity.



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Face plates for the latest cell phone models sanyo 7000

New York, NY Jul 24,2007 Looking for Cell Phone Faceplates? Then 101cells online cellphone accessory store is the right place for you. 101cells has the lowest prices and best quality products. 101cells is a total source for just about any cell phone accessory. Little changes can make your cellphone look like new. 101cells. com has just added new faceplates for Sanyo 7000 cellphones. 101cells. com is an online cell phone accessories store featuring accessories like Faceplates, Chargers, Batteries, Data Cables, Flashing Accessories, Antennas, Car Kits of all popular phone models from Audiovox, Sony Ecrisson, Motorola, Nokia, Nextel, Qualcomm-Koycera, Samsung, Kyocera and Siemens. The store also has unique collection of iPod accessories. Changing Cell Phone Faceplate is a great way to change the look of your cellular phone. Go & Individualize your cell phone with a cell phone with just a unique faceplate.

Personalize and protect your phone with these plastic molded faceplates which are designed to fit securely onto your phone. Different colors, styles and shapes faceplates of almost every cell phone to choose from. 101cells. com has added new wide range of Face Plates for Sanyo 7000 These faceplates include various solid & transparent colors, colorful pattern designs, dragons, different animals & smiley design faceplates. Some of the famous faceplates are Blackberry Faceplates HTC Faceplates Kyocera Faceplates LG Faceplates Motorola Faceplates Nextel Face Plates Nokia Faceplates Panasonic Face Plates etc They're very easy to put on and take off. And they give the freedom to change the look of your phone whenever you want. Grab the faceplates of your personality and choice at 101cells. com



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