In – Game Items vs Consumer products

   Whether one owns a home or business in second life or have a google sketch up account. Whether one posts cue ideas on miniclips pool blog or design concept vehicles for driving simulation games. Whether one is exploring strategies and ingame items for Mobile Strike or simply planning to build a flash based chess game to increase website traffic. Whether one is building an app or sharing emoticons on Flickr. Whether one is sharing images on Wikipedia or Flickr under creative commons. Whether one is writing a blog or research essay or testing for facts from Wikipedia and google sources, three dimensional objects have applications in all these scenarios. Their use comes in form of images, game imports and 3-d printing. With 3-dimensional printing becoming increasingly popular around the world, the websites and services associated with this business are becoming more user friendly. Many websites also share images of 3-d objects on the internet via google or google images. Though, these images may look similar to those of products on Amazon, E bay and DH Gate, there are some key differences between consumer products on 3-d print sites and the ones on E Bay and Amazon.

   First of all, 3-d print products are relatively new to the market with many of them uploaded by designers rather than people who manufacture products for a business. Though these products may be tested by designers as shown in most product and material demo’s on the site, they are relatively entrepreneurial products compared to consumer products in trend on E bay, Amazon and DH Gate.  Next, the print materials available on most 3-d print service based websites are relatively newly discovered or in use while the ones on E bay and Amazon have been used in the consumer products over and over again. Though, these websites have fact sheets and product safety guidelines on most if not all materials, the materials are mostly for prototypes and samples rather than for mass production. These prototypes and samples may be used once for projects, games, business or mass produced by manufacturers for business. Compared to E bay and amazon, which have relatively standard and one-liner product description, 3-dimensional products need to be described in more detail for entrepreneurs. Most of these are designed with a specific property or function in mind which is not a trend in the consumers market of E-bay and Amazon. Research products or products based on research may even have links and references to the fashion context (eg. movies, music videos and you tube videos) and applications. Many toys and educational products based on research are designed to check for material facts from material samples. Finally, some of these 3-d print products may simply be a part of blog or websites that sell essays and academic research papers while consumer products on E bay or amazon do not need an application essay or a blog to target a specific audience. Overall, there are some major differences between three dimensional products and consumer products on Amazon and E bay.

   In conclusion, despite the differences between 3-dimensional products and consumer products, the quality of the print materials offered by most 3-dimensional printing service based business online and business that simply sell these materials is as good as a finished consumer product and a functional one too! So, whether one is a entrepreneurial home owner looking to print new materials or products for home renovation and increase real estate prices or a car mechanic looking to solve rusting issues in most used vehicles, 3-dimensional print services may be the solution. With 3 – dimensional printers and materials available all over the world, the consumer demand has escalated mining for metals and precious metals wherever these resources are available. Product invention and innovation for applications like construction, consumer electronics, auto industries etc may start from ground up with new materials.  Not to mention, the platform 3-d printing may provide software and apps developers for consumer applications.

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Loans: Furniture vs Home & Auto

One may not be an expert yet on home and auto loans, but loans on furniture can be explored by a salesperson of any level of experience. Those who have furniture at home or have been in the moving business. Those who have worked at a furniture factory or have hung around with people in the upholstery business. Everyone from manufacturer to customer must have had a thought about furniture on loans. Many department stores in North America offer furniture loans just like home and auto loan. Some consider it an opportunity to buy furniture while others consider it an expense in the long run.

   Furniture just like auto has depreciation. Most of the used or reupholstered furniture is bought not based on “mileage” or manufacturing date. But, furniture is rather bought and sold based on condition. The fabric of the upholstered furniture or the leather condition of leather furniture could play a key role in value determination. Some leather sofa’s and chairs have no cuts while others might be torn from place to place. Some furniture has a bad odor while others have been maintained or used less frequently to develop any odor. Some furniture like reclining chairs or spring mattress has lost its functionality due to use or misuse while others retain the elasticity for a mattress or powered operation in terms of reclining chairs. The wood for framing furniture also depreciates over a period of time and this is another factor in depreciation expense. Not to mention, a part of the wood chipping off to leave any nails exposed. Some furniture develops bed bugs or other insects which makes this kind of furniture obsolete. Though there are many things that may go wrong with the furniture, the impulse of buying new furniture at high prices is underrated. Leather furniture among all is simply irresistible. The leather is a popular upholstery material whether synthetic or animal product. Furniture to auto seats, marine upholstery to leather products, leather promises durability, aesthetics, and comfort. Unlike other fabric, leather is waterproof, usually odor free and easily matches paint color is mostly residential and commercial locations. However, leather also has its loops. A cut on a leather car seat is easily visible and may depreciate the used auto value significantly. Leather furniture in a home with pets is probably a risk. Most pets like cats and dogs have sharp and strong claws as well as significantly strong biting force. They may damage leather furniture in an instant. Moreover, leather furniture just like any other fabric-based upholstery may be damaged while moving. All these factors contribute to furniture depreciation.

Despite furniture depreciation, many consumers have little or no cash to buy all their furniture. Many consumers in North America live pay cheque to pay cheque or on credit. Some are so deeply submerged under the water of debt, that a rescue from a coastguard is next to impossible, never mind building “Noah’s Arc”. Even though one lives in debt, he/she still may consider buying furniture or investing in furniture as part of real estate. Real estate especially homes sold with furniture in mint condition brings more value and resale price. Sometimes this value may escalate with the escalating real estate prices. Some leather furniture may be worth twice more than their original retail price when sold with real estate. In fact, the price of real estate is often negotiated with renovations and furniture. However, investment in furniture with credit balance could mean inviting debt counselors in the future especially if this is not an investment property. Furniture manufacturers, retailers or upholsterers may sell furniture on credit secured by banks or debt collection agencies. Unlike a direct write off method for noncollectable debt, companies use allowance for doubtful accounts. This allowance may be based on deteriorating consumer credit before payment date or late interest payments. Since most retailers charge high-interest rates on furniture which has principal due years from purchase, it is highly unlikely that all their consumers turn out to be perfect customers. The business on credit whether a loan or credit from a credit card may turn sour at any moment. Hence, with opportunities comes risks!

   Overall, furniture loans are opportunities that may or may not be financially sound for customers on credit. Extensive research, as well as debt counseling with accountants and likewise, may be able to solve this issue! Moreover, insurance also plays a key role in furniture business just like home and auto. Furniture whether flame retardant or not is often insured for fire insurance which covers property and contents. Ensuring antique furniture is also on the rise with rising auction values. Insurance alongside maintenance may turn risk into an opportunity for furniture investments.

Slip & Fall Hazards

   Slip and fall accidents however bizarre may be more common than car accidents. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized. More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet“. Research statistics also indicate that slip and fall on sidewalks due to snow and black ice buildup, as well as kitchen accidents, are more common than one might think!

   Sidewalks are more prone to slip and fall accidents than the slippery conditions created for vehicles by black ice on roads that result in tire skids. Sidewalks that are not properly cleaned of snow not only result in to slip and fall accidents but also lawsuits. These lawsuits are often directed by victims towards owners of properties that failed to shovel the sidewalks creating hazardous conditions. Black ice on the drive way or patio stairs also leads to slip and fall accidents. These areas of the property are usually spread with salt to avoid black ice from developing in extreme weather. Should ice formation be evident despite the use of salt, one may try using metal shovels or similar consumer products to break this dangerous ice formation! Snow blowers and heated driveways are often regarded as solutions to the problem. Also, consumer products like heft attached to a snow shovel make shoveling easy without resulting in to back pain problems and efficient snow cleanup. For the slip and fall victims, properly tied shoelaces with shoelace beads as well as shoe spikes may stop the catastrophe. Shoes and other footwear must also be scraped clean to avoid bringing water inside a house or building. Shoe hangers instead of shoe racks can help keep track of water spills and create less mud and mess inside a residential or commercial structure!

   Slip and fall accidents are also evident in washrooms. Many accidents occur near bathtubs, sinks, and toilets where water on the floor or tiles is often overlooked. Controlling the water pressure from shower caps also means controlling the water that falls outside the bathtub.  Water may also accumulate in the bathtub as a result of hair accumulation near the drain of a missing bathtub drain cover. A tightly sealed drain cover or a malfunctioning drain cover lift mechanism might be raised with a ruler to avoid water accumulation in the bathtub. This water usually results in a slip and fall accident as soon as one climbs out of the shower. Bathtub injuries are often due to excess soap foam in the bathtub. This build-up can be prevented by using a properly installed soap stand. Shower drains are also culprits in these sip and fall disasters! An unlevelled shower drain due to replenishment of grout leads to dangerous metal edges of the drain exposed. Metal shower drains are also more slippery than some other consumer products available in the market. Shower curtain clips that do not hold the curtains as they fill up with water in a tub may result in water spills! These curtains easily come off the clips and spread water all over the washroom floors. that easily come off the Also, a bathtub handle may stop slip and fall in the tub. Other than bathtubs and shower areas, washroom sinks and countertops are also culprits in slip and fall accidents! A malfunctioning lift mechanism for washroom sink drain cover may lead to water accumulation and water spills on the floor eventually leading to accidents. Foam buildup from shaving cups or soaps on countertops also leads to accidents. A soap stand on washroom sinks especially in hotels and motels will not only prevent slip and fall as a result of excess foam buildup on and around the sink counter top but also reduce countertop damage caused by excess foam and water which result into thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

   Slip and fall accidents are evident in the kitchen. In the kitchen, sink faucet pressure is often an essential element in controlling water spills on the floor. This pressure may be controlled via changes in aerator design that lead to fewer water spills during a dishwashing session. Sink drain stoppers may also hold a key in fewer water spills on the kitchen countertop and floor leading to slip and fall accidents. Some sink drain stoppers are not only a hazard to slip and fall but a hazard to fingers due to the use of wire mesh that breaks from time to time. If these wire meshes are not replaced, they also result in to drain clogs and pipe clogs leading to thousands of dollars in replacements and plumbing labor expense!

   In conclusion, hazards from snow, ice, and water lead to accidents that can be avoided. One of the ways to successfully combat accidents and statistics is prevention! For example, preventing ice dams on roofs with an ice dam cable may save consumers roof damage and replacement costs that are in the thousands since roofs are the biggest investment in a residential structure. Preventing ice from forming on vehicle windshield may also help reduce gas usage and vehicle heating time!

Chess

Chess is a game of strategy. It is played on an 8 by 8 square board. This game consists of a pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king. The purpose of this game is to checkmate the king piece which involves using all the other pieces.

   The pawn is equivalent to that a soldier. There are eight pawns in each player’s arsenal at the beginning of the game. It can move one or two-step initially but then only move one step on the board. This pawn usually kills another pawn diagonally on the board. When it reaches the eight square of the board, it has an option of upgrading either to bishop, rook, knight or queen.

The rook is equivalent to that an elephant. It moves in a straight pattern front or to the side. It can move as many squares as possible in a straight line. It kills any other piece in its path.

The knight is equivalent to of a horse on a battlefield. It moves two and a half squares. Two squares to the front and half to the right.It kills any other piece in its path as it moves either starting straight on the board or sideways.

The bishop is equivalent of a camel. It moves diagonally on the chess board. It also kills any other piece diagonally on the chess board.

The queen is the prize piece of the game. She moves both diagonally like a bishop and straight line like the rook.In her aim to checkmate the king, she kills anything and anyone in her path.

The king is the ultimate game decider. It moves only one step at a time in either direction. A player who checkmates opponent’s king with other pieces and his own king wins the game.

In conclusion, chess is strategic and fun in nature. In the ancient times, this game was actually a way to develop a strategy on the battlefield.

 

Copyright Act: From all Perspectives

   The word “Free” means many things to many people. Businesses offer free software trials in an attempt to promote the use of their product. The idea is “Use the trial version for free” and if users like the product, they extend this trial offer by buying the “premium” or “professional version”. However, there is also a market for completely free proprietary soft wares. Copyright owners call this version of “Free”, “pirated” or “illegal download”. This industry is worth millions of dollars if not billions both in “illegal” distribution and prevention. Copyright owners lose millions while consumers save millions for products that they could otherwise not afford. Copyright infringement is not just limited to software but includes music, gaming, movies, documents etc. Whether it be downloading illegal software or reusing proprietary products in what is now called “plagiarism”, copyright infringement law applies to all.

    Copyright infringement is evident more on YouTube than anywhere else. Uploading video streams or even audio on you-tube automatically lets the copyright owner know that his/her contents are being used elsewhere by a different user anywhere in the world. A homemade video is no longer homemade if the music used in the video causes “copyright infringement”. This version of plagiarism is not just limited to YouTube but other video and audio streaming and sharing sites. Some sites monitor copyright infringements to avoid lawsuits while others deliberately let users upload “pirated” movies, videos, music and likewise, simply to increase their consumer traffic on the site and benefit from the advertisement revenue. Though many of these sites eventually close down, some still operate simply because the consumer population and support is ever so strong for “free” stuff. One does not need to go beyond sources like Google and Wikipedia to find the lawsuits these sites have suffered for hosting “proprietary movies and music” in a way that promotes “piracy”. Despite the lawsuits, the sites are still operational along with thousands if not millions of other sites that offer “illegal downloading “of movies and music. “The United States No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act), a federal law passed in 1997, in response to LaMacchia, provides for criminal prosecution of individuals who engage in copyright infringement under certain circumstances, even when there is no monetary profit or commercial benefit from the infringement. Maximum penalties can be five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.” (Wiki). In some countries, the laws are strict while in others where consumption of “pirated material” is strong, the law is not too strict. “Piracy” in these countries actually promotes business such as Internet Cafes, DVD booths, convenience stores etc. Nevertheless, recent crackdowns and business disclosure by police and officials in many of these countries have forced “piracy promoting businesses” to look for alternatives.

    Music Piracy is another form of “Copyright Infringement”. “In 2007, the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) reported that music piracy took $12.5 billion from the U.S. economy. According to the study, musicians and those involved in the recording industry are not the only ones who experience losses attributed to music piracy. Retailers have lost over a billion dollars, while piracy has resulted in 46,000 fewer production-level jobs and almost 25,000 retail jobs. The U.S. government was also reported to suffer from music piracy, losing $422 million in tax revenue” (Wiki). Music piracy, in fact, affects music producers, composers and ultimately economy throughout the world not just in one region. YouTube alone is claimed to have been spending “millions of dollars” to prevent copyright videos that create a loss of “millions of dollars” to copyright owners throughout the world. Music piracy is not just limited to YouTube and other video streaming sites but also P2P (peer to peer).  Though many p2p users have protested and continue to protest against the file-sharing laws, file sharing is still considered “piracy” and “Illegal”. “In one extreme example, the RIAA claimed damages against Lime Wire totaling $75 trillion – more than the global GDP – and “respectfully” disagreed with the judge’s ruling that such claims were “absurd”. However, this $75 trillion figure is obtained through one specific interpretation of copyright law that would count each song downloaded as an infringement of copyright. After the conclusion of the case, Lime Wire agreed to pay $105 million to RIAA” (Wiki). Music piracy also exists in the form of video remakes and reuse. Whether it’s an educational video or a gameplay video, many users decide to add in their favorite tracks using popular video editing software’s like “Windows Movie Maker”. Hence, the video that is supposed to get thousands of views and subscribers gets copyright strikes on YouTube instead.

    Last but not least, software industry too has “Piracy distribution”. This market often utilizes the networking capability of internet users to distribute “pirated” software. Whether openly through several software download sites or through peer to peer networks, it is a child’s play to find an illegal download of proprietary software over the net. With the consumer industry ever so demanding, the use of high tech software has become increasingly popular and so have “illegal downloads” for those who can find this treasure over the net. “In its 2011 report, conducted in partnership with IDC and Ipsos Public Affairs, the BSA stated: “Over half of the world’s personal computer users – 57 percent – admit to pirating software.” The ninth annual “BSA Global Software Piracy Study” claims that the “commercial value of this shadow market of pirated software” was worth US$63.4 billion in 2011, with the highest commercial value of pirated PC software existent in the U.S. during that time period (US$9,773,000).” (Wiki). Since the sales and service of the software industry are moving in the direction of emerging markets, the loss due to “piracy” is also moving in that direction. “The 2011 Business Software Alliance Piracy Study Standard, estimates the total commercial value of illegally copied software to be at $59 billion in 2010, with emerging markets accounting for $31.9 billion, over half of the total. Furthermore, mature markets for the first time received fewer PC shipments than emerging economies in 2010, making emerging markets now responsible for more than half of all computers in use worldwide” (Wiki). Hence, “piracy” is a global phenomenon.

    In conclusion, “copyright infringement” continues to have economic impacts. Whether copyright owner or the owner and user of “pirated products”, all have a role to play in this market. “Piracy” and “Copyright prevention” have a global market.  “The numbers may be beyond reason, but would $37 billion in gatekeeping costs be worth it to save part of the $58 billion lost from piracy as the MPAA states in its statistics.” Some choose to play by the rules and buy original soft wares while others involved in “Piracy”. Nevertheless, just like solutions to conflicts, some consider “Open- Source soft wares” as a solution to the problem. These soft wares include software to make your own beats and music and avoid music copyright as well as video editing software. With many open source software that has most if not all the capabilities of the proprietary software, one does not need to involve in “piracy” if one can’t afford proprietary software. Overall, open source software stop lawsuits, fines and even a trip to Alcatraz. Examples include but not limited to Opensource Virtual DJ and  Piano Notes from open source software.