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Nintendo’s Draconian Stance Against System Modification

Nintendo is one of the most creative and innovative video game companies in the world, but their stance against modifications of their products is nothing short of Draconian. In short, Nintendo says there is no legitimate purpose for game copying devices, emulators, and modification (mod) chips or other devices that enable homebrew applications. Sony and Microsoft have similar stances, but are a little more discreet in expressing their disdain for such devices, though no less aggressive in filing lawsuits against large-scale distributors of such devices.

Nintendo’s own legal information FAQ states, “Mod chips circumvent the security embedded into Nintendo’s products. To install the mod chips into a Nintendo hardware system, it is necessary to dismantle the product and, in some instances, remove components.” Nintendo automatically equates using mod chips with circumventing security of NINTENDO’S products. This is an interesting view considering most of us believe that once we buy a product it is now OUR product and not the manufacturer’s. Can you imagine a car manufacturer asserting similar claims? Ford could claim that changing out the computer chip in your car circumvents the security on FORD’S product. However, most of us believe that once you pay for a vehicle it is yours to alter in most any way you choose. Nintendo claims exceptions for video game consoles that few other companies would dare claim. Nintendo claims that even though you bought the product, it still belongs to Nintendo and that altering it, no matter the reason, somehow damages Nintendo. They want the very act of altering the device to be illegal even without proof of criminal use of the modified product.

Just because a game system modification enables illegal activity does not mean it will be used for the purpose. Using the car metaphor from earlier, just because I could modify my Ford vehicle to greatly exceed the speed limit does not mean I will blow through a school zone doing 88 mph. Just because I modify my Nintendo game system does not mean I will use it to illegally copy and/or distribute games.

In almost any area outside of the video games industry, making a modification to your property would not be illegal, even if that modification could enable the performance of an illegal act. Nintendo acknowledges only one use for these devices, and that is the illegal copying and distribution of video games. This view discounts the numerous legitimate uses for modification devices. For instance, many people use their Nintendo handhelds to read classic literature. This requires the use of devices Nintendo claims are only used for piracy.

Making it illegal to modify a product you paid for is absurd. Unfortunately, if Nintendo has its way, you will pay for a device and not legally be allowed to use it for anything for which Nintendo does not approve.

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Personal Finance Software Options For Your Mac Computer

So you just got a new Mac huh? And now you’re trying to figure out how to make the transition from life as a Windows user to a new operating system. Finding the right personal finance software can be a challenge. If you were using Quicken on your old Windows computer, you’ve probably heard that there is a version of Quicken just for the Macintosh computer. Unfortunately, many of the features found in Windows Quicken. Also, using an emulator (letting you run Windows applications on a Mac) can get complicated and is prone to its own set of problems. So now what to do?
I suggest looking into Liquid Ledger. This personal finance software solution comes with a robust set of features which can help you track your money down to the last cent. The goal of any good money application is to let you see what you’re spending and what you’re bringing in. Once you determine this, you can make wiser choices about how to budget your money. Here are some features that Liquid Ledger offers:
* The program saves you time and energy by allowing you to automatically schedule regularly occurring payments. The software will alert you when the payment is due, keeping you from having to remember all those bills. You also have the peace of mind that forgetting a payment is a thing of the past.
* Create a budget, then compare how much you planned to spend against how much you actually spent. This lets you see your situation all during the month and find out why the money always seems to disappear.
* Liquid Ledger lets you create powerful reports that let you determine your net worth.
* If you’re a programmer (or even if you’re not), you can use AppleScript to automatically perform repetitive tasks within the program, saving you even more time!
* Travel a lot? Need an application that lets you go back and forth between different currencies? No problem! Liquid Ledger seamlessly transfers funds from one account to another in any number of currencies.
* Liquid Ledger uses bank jargon you’re already familiar with as a customer. This means you won’t be left scratching your head wondering what this or that means.
* You can print your own checks…how cool is that! As long as you have either a laser-jet printer or inkjet printer, you can use the drag-and-drop GUI to create custom templates.
* No need to enter data over again from your old OS-you can import (and export) account information in QIF, CSV, and OFX formats.
Using Liquid Ledger, you can track transactions, keep up with investments, and balance your checkbook, all inside a straightforward user interface that’s a snap to learn. So if you’re making the switch from Windows to Mac, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Liquid Ledger for your personal finance software needs.

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The Art Of Body Modification Branding

Through the years, man has unceasingly found ways to express their innate creativity and uniqueness. This is evident in many works of art collected throughout the years. However, such ingenuity is not only confined in crafts, sculptures, and paintings. Some people have literally made their own body as their canvas! These people are not only content of admiring art pieces; they made themselves the living and breathing artwork. This is mainly because some people find extreme satisfaction on being different from the rest or getting the kind of attention they unabashedly seek. Hence, this gave birth to the art of body modification.

The art of modifying the human body was already practiced centuries ago in native tribes as a way of making themselves look more attractive for their mate. It has taken a lot of form, such as body tattoo, piercing and interestingly body modification branding. The latter is unquestionably an extreme art form since it requires burning a part of the skin to create a permanent scar.

Body modification branding or otherwise known as scarification have earlier been used in burning identifying marks on livestock. Centuries ago. Greeks used it as a popular form of punishment for slaves and fugitives. Law offenders are branded on their forehead as a blatant sign of condemnation and to intentionally spur social disdain and disgrace. However, this barbaric act was later banned since it violates the human rights act and is deemed to be an extreme penalty to bear for most people.

Nowadays, body modification branding still exists in some sectors of society. No longer as a severe form of castigation but as a voluntary mark of association to a certain group. This practice is quite common in fraternities and organized crime groups. The scar apparently becomes their official membership mark of some sort. Some people use the body modification branding as a right of passage, especially for people who are aspiring to be a member of an exclusive group.

The body modification branding actually has two methods: the strike, where the artist will use a piece of metal to burn the skin repeatedly and the cautery, which uses a cautery pen to make a permanent scar on the skin. Both produce similar results and the scar is something the person will bear for the rest of his life. People who practice branding would claim it is a freestyle form of art, but a lot of people think otherwise. To the eyes of many, it is still a callous act that should no longer be practiced in this modern age.

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Consider your investment plan carefully

Retirement is a necessary event which everyone faces in life. When one thinks of his income after retirement, several options arise. During his service, the person has to save some amount every month for his retired life. The person invests this amount in Annuity schemes which fetch him some periodical income so that after retirement he can lead a normal life. Before choosing the appropriate investment plan, the person has to evaluate his needs. His immediate commitments like education of children, expenses on health, renovation of house, legal expenses if any are some of the factors which may require careful consideration. The next question that he has to consider is the marriage of children, tour plans, etc.

Where to invest the savings?

This is a vexing question that needs careful consideration. Many employees invest the amount with their employers. In return for this investment, the employer normally gives the employee a fixed amount periodically as Annuity. Of course in the beginning the Annuity which the employee gets would seem to be reasonable. But with inflation, the fixed annuity will not be sufficient in the coming years. Even with an inflation of about 3% every year, in about 4 to 5 years the person will feel the financial crunch.

The alternative is to invest in Stock market. But this requires specialization and careful market analysis. Everyone may not have this quality. So this is a risky investment.

As an alternative, the employee can consider the investment plans offered by different investment companies. Many of the investment agencies have several attractive plans like Annuity with health insurance coverage for the spouse, burglary insurance, etc. Such investment could be another better option to choose.

Some persons may consider investing in real estate. But if such investment is made, the person may not have fixed returns unless the investment fetches him some amount by way of rent. If such investment is made when there is a favorable market, the value of real estate would appreciate and this may fetch attractive returns.

However, as far as investment plan is concerned, all that matters is the wisdom of the investor. Wherever necessary, he can take the guidance of professional investment planners who would be able to guide the investor appropriately.

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Property Investment Vs Property Speculation

Most people get Real Estate wrong for two simple reasons.:

1. They don’t understand the difference between an asset and a liability
2. They don’t understand the difference between investing and speculating

The broke majority live under the misguided belief that their family home is an asset. An asset by definition is Something valuable that an entity owns, benefits from or has use of, in generating income. The key is the words generating income. By that definition your home is not an asset, it is a liability. It does not generate income, it costs you money.

The broke majority will borrow as much as they possibly can, to buy the most expensive home they can afford, in the mistaken belief that this is a good investment. In fact they are are burdening themselves with the worst kind of debt. Long term, expensive, non-deductible debt that produces no income in return. The same kind of debt that lead to the housing collapse in the USA.

Successful investors understand this crucial point. Your home is not an investment.

The Business Dictionary defines an investment as Money committed or property acquired for future income. Now some will argue that an investment doesn’t have to produce an income and cite as an example gold bullion, collectibles or share futures contracts. By definition, none of these are investments, they are items of speculation. They can go up in value or, just as easily, go down. You are speculating on the future trade-able value, not investing in the inherent value of the income an asset represents. Tens of thousands of homeowners around the world discovered in 2009 that home values can fall and can fall dramatically and disastrously.

If you buy a house to live in with no income return expected from it, but in the hope it will increase in value, you are speculating not Investing.

If you buy a house to rent out, you are investing. The Australian government has long recognised the difference and that is why they allow you to claim the expenses relating to a rental property, including interest payments, as a tax deduction but do not allow any deductions for expenses incurred in buying a house to live in. In other words, the government is willing to share the risk of investing in income generating real estate because the risks are lower than tying up your money in your home.

Smart investors have a small or no mortgage on their own home and the majority of their borrowings are for rental property because that is the lowest risk strategy. They also get the best advice they can on quickly reducing the mortgage on their home.

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Get Insurance For Adverse Financial Outcomes

In todays world people are very much familiar with the term insurance. Whether it is for life, health, vehicle, fire, disability or liability, insurance serves as financial tool for securing your life and property. It is a cover used for protecting you and your family from rising unexpected health expenses or certain life outcomes.

Simply we can say that insurance is used for managing the possible risks of future. It is an important part of your personal finance strategy. The money invested in insurance works like your emergency fund. It protects you from unforeseen circumstances for which you are not prepared. In this article, you will get to know why insurance is worth considering and how your financial needs are taken care by insurance policies.

Why insurance is taken?
It is important to understand that risk is a part of any persons life. Throughout your life you may face many kinds of risks such as financial losses, accidents, falling ill, etc. It is also necessary to know that risk increases as a person becomes old along with the increase in responsibilities. So, insurance is taken for such unexpected events and to maintain a good quality of life even while going through unforeseen adversities.

A rich person need not have insurance. Only the not so rich or poor need it to take care of his/her financial needs in unfavorable conditions. Insurance helps you to take care of the situations where large amount of funds may be required and it would be difficult or not possible to arrange money in that situation. So, in that condition, your financial needs are taken care by insurance.

Insurance is a security for your life and property
Every stage of your life needs insurance. Not taking insurance is like gambling with your savings. We believe that insurance is needed when income is low and financial needs are large, due to some negative outcomes. It is a good thing if you never have to en-cash insurance. Though insurance can take care of financial needs there will be still other non-financial negative outcomes that insurance cannot help.

With the help of insurance you can secure yourself and your family from unexpected and unfavorable conditions. Think practical and bear in mind that it is better to pay small premiums now than to pay huge amounts in future.

Plan to have adequate insurance
You should not take insurance as an investment tool, rather you must consider it as a personal financial tool that helps you to take care of your financial obligations and to maintain your familys living conditions, in the event of negative circumstances. A right kind of insurance with an adequate amount of coverage must be obtained. For this, you must evaluate your unique financial and family circumstances.

Having insurance is a way of protecting your quality of life and valuables. By this time you may have realized the importance of getting insurance to have financial peace even in unforeseen circumstances.

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Premium Finance – Create Wealth And Retire Early

Hello, this is Lynette, a Relationship Manager from Premium Finance. I had the most delightful clients in the other day who wanted to go into an investment with their son and daughter -in-law, the motivation being that the son wanted to create wealth and retire early, not like Mum & Dad who were still working in their late fifties.They offered their home as security which was a lovely and generous offer however they didn’t understand the ramifications of doing this. The wanted to borrow the money from the bank in all their names and have a 25% share each in the investment.
The first issue I found was that Mum & Dad had very little superannuation and actually needed much more assistance then the young couple. If the four clients had of went ahead with their plans without seeking advise they would have held each other back in their attempt to create wealth. A bank will take the stand that even though the debt is in 4 names, they take it that each individual actually is responsible for 100% of the repayments on that debt. It is like the other 3 parties don’t exist. This would have resulted in all parties being liable for the debt and as a result each individual would have struggled on their income to obtain any more borrowings from the bank for future investment. This meant that they would have had only the one investment which would not have created the wealth they were seeking. The solution to the problem was that Mum & Dad did assist their son into an investment but in his and his wife’s name only. Mum & Dad also went into their own investment and are on target to do another investment in 6 months thus increasing their asset position and provide an income in retirement. Getting the right loan structure can be vitally important sometimes especially in this case and getting professional advise is a very wise move. Remember the Bank is not your friend and doesn’t have your best interests in mind – WE DO THOUGH !

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How To Gauge The Volatility Of A Stock Market Investment

Do Your Research
You can find a great deal of information in the stock tables of your local newspaper, or your favorite financial industry publication. Those stock tables contain a wealth of information you can use to gauge the volatility of a stock market investment. Turn to the stock table in your favorite financial publication. Locate the 52-week high and low for each stock you plan to invest in.

Compare the 52-week high for the stock to the 52-week low. The difference between the 52-week high and the low is a good indicator of how volatile the stock has been over the last year, and how volatile it is likely to be in the future.

Contact the Company
Contact the investor relations department at each company and request a copy of the annual report. Some companies publish these reports online, so you might be able to find past annual reports on the company’s website. If not, check the website and find the contact information for the investor relations department.

Review the price history of the stock as shown in the annual report. A wide spread between the annual highs and lows for the stock is an indication of a highly volatile stock. A company whose share price has been more consistent has shown far less volatility.

Practice on Paper
Create a paper portfolio and track your stocks over a period of several months. List each stock on a separate line and list the daily or weekly price in each column. Tracking the stock price over time will give you a good indication of how volatile the stock is.

While nothing can totally eliminate the inherent volatility of investing in the stock market, there are a number of strategies you can use to reduce the risks of the stock market and increase your odds of finding a winning investment.

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Different Types Of Mortgage Modification Scams

One of the kinds of scams that the government is quick to crack down on is foreclosure consultants offering false loan modification services to homeowners facing the loss of their homes . While the government is providing its own modification programs, it is also going after a number of fraudulent schemes that have been used to trick borrowers .

There are a large number of scams that target foreclosure victims, but the loan modification one may be the easiest for the criminals to engage in. The general way it works is that borrowers pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for the services of a loss mitigation company. After signing the agreement and taking the payment, however, the company provides almost no services, resulting in the borrowers losing the property.

Many mortgage modification scams are almost entirely made up of borrowers paying money to a company which then sits on the cash, performs almost no services, and simply disappears or denies giving a refund after thehomes is auctioned. There are hundreds of complaints about such companies, and it seems as if the attorney general of one state or another shuts down a new one every week.

However, there are some differences on the theme, as well. For instance, some loss mitigation companies will take borrowers money and obtain an unaffordable modification program, even if there is a chance to negotiate with the financial institution for a more beneficial arrangement. The company obtains the first, easiest modification possible, presents it to the borrowers, and declares its work done. Unfortunately, though, an unaffordable plan will not help borrowers remain in their houses.

Another variation on the scheme is simply to charge borrowers to attend loan modification seminars. This may be as part of a larger program to help them negotiate for better loan terms, although the seminars can cost upwards of several thousand dollars. If the borrowers do not attend the seminar, they will not receive help from the foreclosure scam company, which will blame the failure on the borrowers.

A final scam related to loan modifications that is being heard of more often is companies charging for loan audits that are performed by someone other than an attorney. Information provided in these audits is also often unnecessary, as the claims that the borrowers are encouraged to raise are barred by the expiration of the statute of limitations for that particular argument. For thousands of dollars, borrowers are told what will not work in defending their homes.

Unfortunately, many borrowers are taken in by these and similar scams every day. States are most often behind in prosecuting and shutting down these companies because there are simply so many of them, and the dollar amounts they steal from borrowers are relatively small. Thus, it is up to the borrowers themselves to make sure they are dealing with a trustworthy company or individual who is offering them foreclosure help or negotiation services in the pursuit of a loan modification or other workout option.

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New Regulatory Body Set To Transform Britains Wine Investment Industry

NFIB and WIA to Provide Better Protection for Wine Investors

Millions of Britons enjoy drinking it and many now see it as a long-term investment. Unfortunately, fine wine has also become a focus for fraudsters who trick investors into buying wines or vineyards that bear little resemblance to what they see in the prospectus, or may not even exist. The increasing number of such rorts in Britain has led to calls for action to be taken to protect investors and to increase consumer confidence in fine wines. In the upshot, the UKs National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is joining forces with the newly-formed Wine Investment Association (WIA) to tackle the problem.

On 14 February 2013, the NFIB and the WIA jointly announced the launch of the new self-regulatory body which will aim to transform the growing wine investment industry by providing better protection for investors in the UK. The WIA has been formed by leading figures from the fine wine investment industry and seeks to support the sector’s growth through voluntary regulation, establishing best practices and setting up processes to identify fraudulent activity.

Director of the NFIB, Det. Supt. Dave Clark, said: “Fraudsters will always follow the money, wine investment is just the latest in a long line of investment opportunities that are being exploited and corrupted to the detriment of the industry as a whole. He added that the NFIB sees the creation of an auditable framework of self-regulation as a step towards maintaining and increasing consumer confidence, while also identifying investment companies which do not operate in accordance with the required high standards.

New Code to Tackle Wine Investment Frauds

Following an extensive consultation period, the WIA has set out the standards and procedures with which its members must comply to remain in good standing. Under the new code of conduct to be drawn up, wine investment firms will undergo stringent audits by accountancy firm Mazars. These will include checks on systems such as stock rotation and to make sure that purchase orders and invoices tally. The director of the WIA, Peter Shakeshaft, revealed that companies which successfully complete the independent audit process commissioned by the newly-formed regulatory body will bear a WIA logo offering consumers a trustworthy safety kitemark. Shakeshaft added: Our industry has been held back far too long by unscrupulous practitioners and issues around fraud. The WIA will really hold the industry to account.