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Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? and ?if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? drilled into their heads, and for good reason ? these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little. But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you?d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer. Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff. Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear. One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don?t send money, even for postage, to a company you don?t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don?t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.

Movie Copyright Law College Students Are Being Targeted For Breaking Movie Copyright Law Many people have taken up the hobby of downloading movies and songs on the Internet and sharing them with their friends and family online. However, this is direct violation of the movie copyright law. Not surprisingly, the biggest violators of the movie copyright law are students. It is not surprising that the movie industry sector is sending out copyright infringements claims to college universities around the country. One reason that college students may be the hardest hit when it comes to violations brought against them for infringing on movie copyright law is that they are not aware of how serious a crime it truly it. Many college students who have suits brought against them are shocked, to say the least. They question why they were not warned about the perils of downloading movies and songs online and passing them along to friends. However, with the rise of claims that are being handed down, no one can claim ignorance for much longer. Word is being spread near and far that if you are engaging in illegal downloading and/or sharing then you can be brought to court. College students are learning the hard way that it is against the law and in violation of the movie copyright law to share or download copyrighted material. Many colleges and universities are now stating in their handbooks that it is against the law and the university rules to illegally download movies, music and other forms of media online using a school computer. In addition to illegal downloading and sharing software, the files take up space on the computer systems and use a considerable amount of bandwidth. While most universities and colleges will not look at the content an individual has -- they can isolate and identify the individuals who are hogging up the bandwidth by using illegal file sharing software. The movie and music industries have stepped in and are demanding restitution for illegally downloaded movies, music and other forms of copyrighted media. They have detection agencies that have the technology to identify and trace copyright infringements straight to their source. Once the computer is located they can notify the university or the college that they are in violation. The university will be told that they have a copyright infringement claim against them. Based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act once the computer is isolated Internet access is terminated to that computer and court proceedings can begin. Does this sound far fetched? Well, it is not. You should know that in April of 2003 four students were sued by Recording Industry Association of America. These students attended Princeton, Michigan Technical University and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. One student alone had an estimated liability of $150 billion. When you consider that you can be charged $750 per song that is illegally downloaded, the total can add up fast! The good thing is the lawsuits against the college students were settled for amounts less than $20,000. That is not pocket change for college students ? or anyone for that matter! Movies and music are meant to be enjoyed. However, illegally downloading movies and music is not much different than walking into a video store and sticking DVDs and CDs in your pocket. Be careful. You do not want to be caught violating the movie copyright law.

What to Think about While Choosing a Writing Desk (writing desk) Writing desks come in many shapes and forms. The technical definition is a piece of furniture with a surface for writing, with drawers and pigeonholes for writing materials and a portable case that when opened forms a surface on which to write. A writing desk could be as complex as that definition or as simple as a desk for writing. Basically a writing desk can be anything that you want it to be. You may not need to buy a writing desk. You may be perfectly comfortable with one you already have or working on the couch or at the kitchen table. This is fine. If it is a cohesive work environment for you that is fabulous, but some writers require a more formal, dedicated area just for them. By finding the perfect writing desk, you are on the way to the start of creative that work style atmosphere that they need. Before you begin your writing desk shopping venture you must first have two things picked out. The area in which your desk is going to go and the chair you are going to use. The location of the desk is important because it will be necessary to choose a size and style. The chair is important for comfort and maybe an important factor in determine the correct height of desk needed. Once these are figured out you shopping journey is ready to begin. While shopping for a writing desk the most important feature is comfort. You need to sit at the desk for most likely for hours at a time. Having a desk at the right height is imperative to this. With the writing surface being to high or to low will not only be uncomfortable but also will more that likely make it difficult for you to concentrate and write. Having a writing desk that is not the correct height is likely to cause neck and back strain. The function and the size of your writing desk are the next factors you need to consider before you purchase one. Do you need one with a little storage or a lot? Does it need to have an adjustable surface or can it just be flat? With all the choices available assessing what you need can help narrow down the ones that will work for you. How big of a space do you have for it? These are some simple considerations that are often forgotten while buying a writing desk. It would be terrible to fall in love with a desk and bring it home just to find out that it is not going to fit. The next important thing is style. When choosing the style of the writing desk you will want it to flow with the furniture already in your home. If your home is modern or contemporary you may want to choose one of the metal and glass desk designs or perhaps one with light wood tones and metal accents are right for you. Another great writing desk available is called the secretary. The secretary is wooden desk with drawers on the bottom and a fold down writing surface. They are usually compact in size but have ample storage and often offer shelving covered by glass doors on top. Plus having a fold down writing surface, it is easy to close up when you are done and hide you space altogether. Choosing the writing desk that is right for you may not seem that important. I mean how difficult could it be to choose a surface to write on, right? But making sure comfort, storage, and style fit into your lifestyle is an important decision. This is part of creating a suitable working environment for you to produce your work.

The Top Virtually Bug-free Free Email Services on the Net Virtually bug-free e-mail services are available actually from several places. Many of these service providers are big names, known by many, especially Internet users. The difference between the different e-mail providers lies in several things. These differences include but are not limited to plenty storage space, effective spam filtering, a fast user-friendly interface, desktop e-mail program access and much more. Currently in the United States and the rest of the world, the best offer for free e-mail comes from Gmail. Gmail is part of the Google business enterprise (the search engine most of us know) and offers the most features and storage space for their users for free. With virtually unlimited storage capacity for e-mails, a user never has to delete any e-mails of the server and can collect all the messages. Gmail offers a simple user-friendly interface, which also includes an excellent search function that lets a user find messages instantly and precisely. Another great feature of gmail is the POP and IMAP access features. This gives the user the possibility to download the e-mail from the server with any e-mail program that the user generally would use. The program can then also automatically download the e-mails into the program ready for the user to read. Gmail is funded by displaying advertising next to the e-mails read. Next on the worldwide list would be GMX, a German provider that offers many of the features gmail offers, but with limited storage space. This program also has the POP feature and can therefore be used in conjunction with any of the common available PC e-mail programs. Right after gmail it is one of the most reliable e-mail services, but unfortunately they discontinued the English user face and only offer a German version now. Thereafter on the top free e-mail services providers is AIM Mail. It is the free web-based service from AOL. Like gmail it offers virtually unlimited online storage, excellent spam protection and a simple, easy to use interface. Unfortunately, AIM Mail lacks proper productivity, such things as labels, smart folders and message threading is not available. AIM Mail also offers a very functional POP and IMAP access. Yahoo! Mail would be the next e-mail service that should be mentioned on the list of the top virtually bug-free services on the Internet. Yahoo also offers virtually unlimited storage space for e-mails and a few other nice features, such as Short message services for texting to friends and family, instant-messaging features for the internet and up to date news feeds. What Yahoo! mail lacks is a really good spam filter. It offers a spam filter, but it is not effective enough. Also nice to have would be labeling options as well as smart folders. The Yahoo! Interface is just as easy and user-friendly as the other providers and fairly reliable. To complete the list we need to mention the following three services, Inbox.com, FastMail and Hotmail. Inbox.com offers e-mail users 5 GB of free space to store e-mail online. Despite the limited space, this service is outstanding due to its high-speed accessibility. Web access and POP access are very fast and even the search functions are faster than with most other services on the market. The drawbacks of Inbox.com are the missing IMAP access, only POP is provided and the organizing of mail is slightly unorganized due to missing smartfolder technology. FastMail on the other hand offers users only IMAP. It has many useful features and has one of the best web-based e-mail interfaces. It also generally displays fewer ads then the other services do. And lastly, Live Hotmail should be mentioned here, since most PC users that have a Windows based operating system will have heard of hotmail. This program offers 5 GB of storage for e-mails online. It has a fast search option, a solid security feature and the interface is as easy as the ones users are used to on their desktop. Even though security is great, the spam filter is not quite as effective as some of the other e-mail providers. Also missing with this provider is the POP and IMAP access as well as smartfolders and other great e-mail organizing features.