October 16th, 2016

Going Green With Low Home Mortgage Rates

Submitted by: Home Loan Center Editorial Staff

While the most obvious way to save money on your home is by securing a low mortgage rate, savvy homeowners can also reap financial benefits from the latest energy-efficient products and environmentally-friendly technology. Whether you install solar panels, a green heating and cooling system, or explore new uses for old materials, it pays to supplement low home mortgage rates with money-saving ideas.

Energy Audit

You can hire a professional to evaluate your home s energy efficiency, or perform your own inspection. The areas most likely to give you trouble are inadequate water heater and home insulation, and the leaks around windows and doors that reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, depending on the season. Check the U.S. Department of Energy s website for more recommendations.

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Big Savings at Tax Time

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) offers consumers and businesses the opportunity to earn federal tax credits for buying energy-efficient products such as hybrid cars and home appliances. Your potential savings are impressive, particularly coupled with any additional tax incentives your state may offer for choosing energy-efficient products. To learn more about state tax rebates, check with your state government office.

Products that qualify for federal tax credits under the EPACT include most solar-powered water heaters and energy-efficient features such as roofs, insulation, and heating/cooling systems. If the cost of updating your home is intimidating, you might take advantage of today s low home mortgage rates and apply for a home equity or line of credit loan (HELOC). The interest paid on these types of loans may be tax-deductible and provide another financial break!

Shopping Smarter

Selecting green appliances is easier, thanks to the Energy Star system, which is designed to help consumers identify energy-efficient models. Other innovative choices include money-saving tankless water heaters and geothermal heat pumps, which use an underground pump to cool the house in summer and provide heating in winter.

What about new home construction? According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, new homes that qualify for the Energy Star rating can save their owners hundreds of dollars in utility bills for services. This could translate to thousands of dollars back in your wallet, over the time you live in that energy-efficient home.

Whether you re building a new home or upgrading an existing property, taking time to research green options makes sense. Rising oil prices and fluctuating home mortgage rates can mean higher prices at the pump and tighter monthly cash-flow. Energy-efficient products and technology go a long way to helping you manage your expenses and protecting our environment from potential harm.

About the Author: To learn more about

low home mortgage rates

and saving money, visit

Home Loan Center.

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Elephants Dream: Free content 3D film released to the Internet

Friday, May 19, 2006

The 3D animated short film Elephants Dream, formerly known as Project Orange, was released to the Internet yesterday. The film is available under the Creative Commons Attribution License, allowing anyone to download, modify and distribute it. The 10-minute film has been called “the first open source movie” by NewsForge. Not only is the movie itself free content, even the computer files containing the 3D models used in the film are available under the same terms.

The project was first announced one year ago and was jointly produced by the Blender Foundation and the Netherlands Media Art Institute. The film tells the story of Emo and Proog, two men trapped inside a surreal machine world. Only freely available open source software was used to create the movie. Most of the work was done using Blender, a 3D modelling and rendering tool. The Blender Foundation is selling an extended edition on DVD, which includes subtitles in 34 languages, a Making Of documentary, commentary tracks, and all files used to create the movie.

In spite of the successful completion of the project, the Blender Foundation “has no intention to grow or expand into a company or studio” according to the project website. “Instead, the Foundation aims at endorsing and supporting activities within (educational) institutes, universities and companies.”

 This story has updates See Interview with Ton Roosendaal about Elephants Dream and free content movies, May 21, 2006 
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Strongest earthquake in 40 years hits Southeast Asia

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Indian Ocean – The death toll continues to grow and millions face a homeless life in the new year as coastal communities in south Asia struggle against continued aftershocks and flooding caused by the largest earthquake to strike the planet in more than a generation.

The magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake struck off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004, at 00:58:50 UTC (or 07:58:50 local time in Jakarta and Bangkok).

The earthquake was the strongest in the world since the 9.2-magnitude Good Friday Earthquake which struck Alaska, USA in 1964, and the fourth largest since 1900. More than 140,000 deaths[1] were caused by resulting tsunami, which in Thailand were up to 10 meters (33 feet) tall, and struck within three hours of the initial event.

Multiple tsunamis struck and ravaged coastal regions all over the Indian Ocean, devastating regions including the Indonesian province of Aceh, the coast of Sri Lanka, coastal areas of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the resort island of Phuket, Thailand, and even as far away as Somalia, 4,100 km (2,500 mi) west of the epicenter.

While the earthquake and the tsunamis are no longer ongoing (other than aftershocks), the humanitarian and economic crisis generated by the disaster is still ongoing. This report will attempt to cover the crisis as it continues to develop.

Contents

  • 1 Damage and casualties
  • 2 Quake characteristics
  • 3 Post-tsunami humanitarian situation
    • 3.1 Humanitarian assistance
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 See also
  • 6 External links
    • 6.1 Aid efforts
    • 6.2 Video and Pictures of the devastation
  • 7 Video
  • 8 Pictures
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Blender Foundation launches open movie, open game projects

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Blender Foundation, which maintains the open source 3D tool Blender, has announced two new projects, codenamed Peach and Apricot. Project Peach will be a new open source movie, following in the footsteps of last year’s Elephants Dream project (which was initially codenamed Orange). Apricot, on the other hand, will use Blender in conjunction with open source 3D framework Crystal Space to create an open game, thereby showcasing both technologies.

The Blender Foundation published the plans on its website on Sunday. In order to support these and future projects, it will also set up a permanent studio called the “Blender Institute”, where software developers and artists can work together in a single location.

The Peach movie project will be headed by Sacha “Sago” Goedegebure from the Netherlands and Lyubomir Kovachev from Bulgaria. Goedegebure is well known in the Blender community for the “Man in Man” animation, which won the 2006 Suzanne Award for Character Animation. Where the theme of Elephants Dream was dark and industrial, Peach will be “funny and furry”, according to the project announcement. The project is to be completed within 6 months, beginning October 1.

Blender’s open game project is still at an earlier planning stage, and details will be announced at the Crystal Space Conference in July. According to the published plans, the project will also be completed within 6-8 months, and it will have a budget of more than 50,000 Euros.

August 11th, 2015

What Is Andy Willoughby’s 3 Step Plan?

By Daniel Cunningham

In a nutshell the 3 step plan is an invitation to become a distributor for XanGo mangosteen juice. XanGo LLC. just might be the country’s fastest growing multi-level (pyramid) marketing company. On the website http://www.3stepplan.com Andy Willoughby says fill out the form and a regular person not a salesperson will give you a call. The person that calls you is a distributor for XanGo, and they put you on a “3 way” connection with a recorded sales message. Then they mail you their complete sales package.

How do you make money?

XanGo is a lot like Amway. You pay a membership fee (about $35); this entitles you to buy their product XanGo juice at the exclusive wholesale price of about $100 a case. If you check out EBay you can usually get a case for a lot less. A case contains four 25 ounce bottles. You are required to buy at least one case per month, to remain as a distributor and to qualify for down line commissions. Plus you need to buy marketing materials. The object is to sell your bottles for $38 each, for a $13 per bottle profit. To get rich you’re going to have to sell a lot of bottles. If you are making a $13 per bottle profit you will have to sell around 50 bottles a week just to make about $30,000 grand a year.

This is where the multi level marketing comes in.

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If you really want to make money you need to recruit new members in your “down line” where you will get 5% of their sales.

Where do you find new members? You can go out and recruit friends and family. You can advertise or cold call for new members. Or you can have the people at XanGo do it, for approximately another $100-$500 per month they will get leads for you.

Where do these leads come from? They come mostly from the radio ads; remember “How in the world are you, anyways?’ Ta da! You are now the distributor talking to new prospects.

How much can you make?

The real money in multi level marketing is always at the top of the pyramid. You can make good money with this business but just like any type of home based business nothing comes easy you must work for it and you must invest in your business. You are going to have to shell out a membership fee, pay for a required monthly shipment, buy marketing materials, and spend time finding new customers and distributors. If you do all this the money will come. There are many success stories from the people at XanGo.

Summary

This business isn’t for everyone, but if you are looking for a turnkey business XanGo isn’t a bad choice, just be willing to work hard. I just wanted people to know what they were getting into before they start. I liked the juice; I didn’t use it long enough to see any real effects. I just didn’t want to be a part of a MLM company. In my opinion there are better ways to earn money working from home. Check out my recommendations for the best work at home products and systems.

About the Author: I’m Dan Cunningham. I am an investor and entrepreneur. Feel free to contact me with any questions or leave a comment.

Rabbit’s Report on Internet Wealthdan@rabbitsreport.com

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August 11th, 2015

Muslim hair stylist sues hairdresser over alleged discrimination

Friday, November 9, 2007 

British-born Muslim hair stylist Bushra Noah is currently undertaking legal action against the owner of a hair salon for alleged religious discrimination. Noah is suing London hair salon owner Sarah Desroiser. Desroiser who runs a salon in King’s Cross, has said that she would not accept Noah as a stylist if Noah’s hair was covered. Noah, like many devout Muslims keeps her hair covered in public places, believing it to be immodest otherwise.

Noah claims that her headscarf is a fundamental part of her religious beliefs and that wearing the scarf would not interfere in her carrying out the job at all. Desrosiers said that it is not discrimination but rather that “the essence of my line of work is the display of hair. To me, it’s absolutely basic that people should be able to see the stylist’s hair. It has nothing to do with religion. It is just unfortunate that for her covering her hair symbolises religion.” Desosiers added that she had worked with Muslims in the past and employs a Muslim accountant.

Noah claims that the state of her own hair is irrelevant to her ability to style others hair.

The last few years have seen a string of similar cases in Britain. Last year, there was a case over whether a British Airways employee could wear a prominent cross, and another case in which a teacher argued that she had a right to wear a Jilb?b (a traditional Islamic dress that covers almost the entire body) in the classroom. In that case, the teacher lost in the High Court.

July 22nd, 2015

The Popularity Of Biker Jewelry

Submitted by: Calvin Washin

Nowadays men and women use jewelry to adore themselves. Everyone uses different kinds and among these choose those that will suite their personality very well. Jewelry has now become an important part of our everyday life as it increases one s personality no matter how much expensive or cheap it is. It is the most popular way to let others see your class. To have the ability to make an impressive and unique fashion statement, you need to maintain a good sense of style to represent yourself well. Biker jewelry has been coming with amazing accessories as well as a wide range of different kinds of merchandise. Biker jewelry is not only famous for its high quality and demand, but also because it comes in various different kinds of designs.

Biker jewelry has not only been for males but previously it was only popular among males only and females used to avoid, but nowadays it is popular among both males and females. It is available since very long time. If you are a biker or have a plan of becoming one, biker jewelry is something you will want to own as part of your collection. This type of ornament includes rings, chains, earrings, lip rings etc. Bikers are known by the accessories they wear such as leather jackets and long boots and fancy headgear. One of the common biker jewelry is the chains.

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The chain comes in different type of style and design. Some are long and some are short and they may be made of different materials such as gold, silver, metal and even crystal. Among all the biker jewelry and among the most popular forms of ornaments are the skull rings. It is simply a ring with a skull on it. The skull rings can be made of gold, silver, metal and also be topped with a diamond. One of the popular skull rings are those with shiny stones. It is also famous among many celebrities worldwide, those that adore their precious value among the society.

One of the other biker jewelry includes exclusive arm and wrist bands. They can be made from materials such as glass plastic and even bone with the addition of spikes with a much cooler and eye catching look. One of the other and most popular types is piercing, which is most commonly found among male and female. Piercing is highly popular for a bikers lifestyle and mostly also for those who are into fashion, but are not bikers. Some examples of these piercings are earrings, tongue, lip rings, nose and belly rings. Piercing can be very painful, but still most people do not avoid it and enjoy the pain and on the other side some people do avoid piercing due to its pain.

There are many biker jewelry magazines available in shops at the market that keep the fashion trend current and common. If you are looking forward to buy limitless styles and design, you can buy them at online stores that are simple and time saving and also effective. At these sites, it is available in cheap prices as well as very high prices depending upon the quality and there is also shipping offers available in different sites that provide shipping worldwide. To purchase the biker jewelry in different exciting design doesn t mean that you have to be a biker for that. Biker jewelries are for those who want to express the freedom of style and gain popularity and for those who want to maintain their place in the fashion field.

About the Author: For some people their jewelry is not about style but more about power, class, aggression, rage, rebellion and attitude.

Biker rings

have to be a mix of all these elements to make the wearers complete justice and showcase their persona with full confidence. Click here for

Biker jewelry

.

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July 22nd, 2015

‘Criminal in uniform’: Senior London policeman jailed for attempting to frame Iraqi

Monday, February 8, 2010 

Commander Ali Dizaei of London’s Metropolitan Police Service today became the most senior officer anywhere in the United Kingdom to be convicted of offences by a court. Dizaei, who was branded a “criminal in uniform” by Independent Police Complaints Commission chair Nick Hardwick, has been jailed for four years after he attempted to frame an Iraqi businessman.

It took a Southwark Crown Court jury under three hours to find Dizaei guilty of misconduct in a public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice. The charges carried a maximum of life imprisonment.

Dizaei, 47, who is head of the National Black Police Association, had gone to the Yas Persian restaurant, run by one of his friends, and taken his wife Shy with him. They then went to their car and struck up a conversation through its open window with the restaurant’s manager. During this conversation they were approached by Waad al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi website designer in his twenties. He requested that Dizaei pay £600 that he owed Baghdadi, who had constructed his website.

According to the Crown, this dispute had been ongoing for months and Dizaei had been attempting to intimidate Baghdadi. He told the Iraqi to depart when he entered the restaurant; although the businessman did, he stayed nearby and rang the 999 emergency number.

The exact content of the argument that led up to this is unclear. Dizaei and his wife testified that Baghdadi was abusive and threatening, telling the officer he would “extract the money out of your throat” while the owner of the Yas said he was “a crook basically… His history … everybody knows he’s not a good gentleman,” said owner Sohrab Eshragi. Eshragi said that the request Baghdadi leave the premises was due to concerns of trouble, claiming Baghdadi had been in a previous fight. Baghdadi denied the allegations and the court rejected Dizaei’s version of events.

While Baghdadi was making his emergency call, Dizaei arrested him and made a 999 call of his own. He requested assistence from other officers, and said that Baghdadi had assaulted him by stabbing his stomach with a shisha pipe. He maintained this account when police arrived and kept it up in written statements, but although Baghdadi was found to be carrying such a pipe examination of Dizaei’s wounds by a police doctor concluded he had inflicted them upon himself.

A Home Office pathologist questioned this finding for the defence. Dr. Nat Cary said it was based on a “fundamentally flawed approach,” and that the injuries were consistent with Dizaei’s version of events. He has helped investigate the assassination of former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto, and the death newspaper seller Ian Thomlinson, the latter of whom died during a G20 protest.

The Crown further alleged that Dizaei told Baghdadi “I’ll fuck your life… You think I don’t know what you do in London… I’ll find every single detail of your life in London.” The prosecution case was presented by Peter Wright QC, who has prosecuted in trials over serial murders of Suffolk sex workers and a plot to bomb transatlantic airliners. He said that Dizaei’s actions were a “wholesale abuse of power by a senior police officer for entirely personal and oblique motives.”

Judge Justice Simon said that Dizaei had committed a “grave breach of public trust” and told him “This sentence needs to send a clear message that police officers of whatever rank are not above the law.” A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said outside the court that “He abused his power and ignored his responsibility,” and that while corruption was unacceptable in any police officer it was particularly so in a senior member of the forces. “The public should have confidence that we will prosecute anyone, regardless of their position, if they commit serious offences. We believe justice has been served for the victim and the public.”

“[I]f he [Dizaei] had been successful, Mr al-Baghdadi may have been sent to prison,” noted Hardwick. “Mr al-Baghdadi has shown tremendous strength of character throughout this case ? from the moment he was confronted by Ali Dizaei, throughout our investigation, and finally when giving evidence at court. We are grateful for the confidence he placed in the IPCC and, as a result of that, justice has been done today.”

Dizaei has been a policeman for 24 years, and at one stage was rumoured to be destined to take control of the Metropolitan Police, although the Metropolitan Police Authority may now choose to end this career. His trial, which began this month, is his second this decade. He was prosecuted in 2003 but cleared of any wrongdoing. The incident with Baghdadi was in June 2008 and Dizaei has been suspended on full pay since September of that year. Hardwick said that “The greatest threat to the reputation of the police service is criminals in uniform like Dizaei.”

July 22nd, 2015

USPTO partially confirms validity of Amazon “1-click patent”

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an office action, which confirmed the patentability of claims 6 to 10 of the Amazon 1-Click patent, US 5,960,411. The patent examiner, however, rejected claims 1 to 5 and 11 to 15. Amazon now has up to six months to amend the rejected claims to overcome the examiner’s rejection, provide arguments to demonstrate that the examiner is in error and/or provide evidence to demonstrate the patentability of their claims. During this period, the entire patent is still considered valid under US patent law.

The USPTO is reconsidering the patentability of the claims due to a request for reexamination filed by New Zealander Peter Calveley. Mr. Calveley used internet archives to show that defunct company Digi Cash used a similar technique prior to Amazon. Despite costing a substantial sum of cash and requiring donations to prepare and file the request for reexamination, Calveley said he did it as a game and hopes that his success inspires others to play the same game.

“One Click” shopping is an ecommerce technique, which allows a customer to purchase products via the Internet without repeatedly entering personal information such as name and address. At the time it was introduced it eased the frustration of on-line shopping.

Amazon filed the patent application for 1-click shopping in early 1997 and was granted the patent in September 1999. 23 days later Amazon sued rival Barnes & Noble for alleged infringement by its “Express Lane” ordering which was introduced in 1998. In December 1999 Amazon won an interim injunction against Barnes & Noble but the USA Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lifted this injunction in February 2001. The parties then settled their dispute for undisclosed terms. Amazon has since successfully licensed the technique to other e-sellers such as Apple.

July 22nd, 2015

FTC begins antitrust inquiry of Google

Saturday, June 25, 2011 

Google has confirmed that it has “received formal notification,” that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating its business practices. The acknowledgment was posted on the internet search engine company’s blog Friday. Google said it was unclear about the nature of the probe.

A broad FTC investigation would cause the company be tied up in defending itself for years, and according to Bloomberg, might well be the government’s biggest antitrust case since the Microsoft probe.

The FTC will likely launch an anti-trust investigation, as the company has been the target of many past smaller ones, according to CNN.

Mercury News reported Friday morning that the FTC review will probably focus on whether Google is using its dominance in the internet search business to promote its own products and services. Google’s rivals say Google unfairly profits from its monopoly in the search engine business by using its search services to point users of its internet search engine to its own sites and services while hiding links to its competitors.

The FCC probe is expected to determine if Google abuses it market dominance to promote moneymaking online marketing, such as its mapping, comparison shopping and travel services. According to CNN, “Google dominates search in the United States, controlling about two-thirds of the market, according to comScore. It also licenses the world’s largest smartphone operating system, and its share of U.S. display advertising revenue recently eclipsed long-time leader Yahoo.”

Google’s response is that most complaints of anticompetitive behavior come from companies who are displeased with their ranking in Google’s search engine. However, Joshua Wright, law professor at George Mason University said the FTC will be looking at possible harm to users and not complaints by Google’s competitors.

Melissa Maxman, co-chair of a Washington-based, antitrust practice group, said the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection unit will almost certainly be involved to see if Google deceives search engine users by screening search results to profit its own services. She said she would be “shocked” if the consumer protection unit was not involved.

Google Fellow Amit Singhal said in the post, “We respect the FTC’s process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services.” But Singhal acknowledged, “It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.”

Bloomberg reported Friday: “Google has set aside $500 million for a U.S. government investigation into online pharmacy ads the company accepted that may have violated the law.”

Google’s efforts to improve privacy policies after last years’ determination that its social-networking service Google Buzz used deceptive tactics, are currently being overseen by the FTC.

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