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Is That Free Offer Legit? Tips that Can Help Everyone loves the chance to cash in some great free stuff, but navigating the world of freebie offers, especially online, can be like navigating a minefield. Unfortunately, a lot of people out there use the love others have of taking advantage of free deals to scam them out of money or personal details that can be used in identity theft scams. All of this gloom and doom doesn?t mean that you have to give up on free things altogether, however. The good news is that there are some simple, common sense steps you can take protect yourself from online freebie scammers. These tips will help give you the confidence that you can enjoy taking advantage of free offers without the fear of ending up facing some negative consequences. First and foremost, when you are checking out a free offer on the Internet, take a closer look at the website, beyond just reading the words and figuring out what you have to do get the free goods. Does the website look like it was made by a professional, with some consideration, or does it look like a five minute amateur job? Are typos and clip art the order of the day, or does it look like a website any business would be proud to call its own? What about the web address ? is a domain name that matches the business the website claims to represent, or is a ?free? domain address that includes the name of the domain company in the address? All of these factors can be red flags that determine the difference between a scam and a legitimate free offer. If the website looks half hearted or doesn?t seem to exactly ?match? the company it purports to represent, then don?t even think about trying to get anything from it. When you?re reasonably sure that the website is actually the front of a legitimate business, it?s time to turn your attention to the privacy policy of the website. The best privacy policies guarantee you that the email address you use to sign up for this offer will not be shared with any other companies ? but when it comes to free stuff, those kinds of privacy policies are few and far between. Many companies cover the costs of the free things you get by selling your email address to other companies that may have offers you they think you might be interested in. If you can?t find a privacy policy that lets you opt out of getting unwanted solicitations, at least make sure the site is secure and that any personal information can?t be obtained by hackers. Other things to look out for when you?re looking for freebies is products that are free but that require you to pay a shipping charge that seems beyond the pale for what it should cost to ship and freebie offers that seem to ask for way more information than needed for what the product actually is. Twenty pages of personal information for a travel size bottle of shampoo? That doesn?t make sense, and it should set off warning bells in your head. All of these red flags aside, giving out some amount of personal information comes part and parcel with freebie offers. There are a few things you can do to make life easier on yourself. Set up an email account that you will use specifically for freebie offers so all of the inevitable spam doesn?t clog up your main account. Use a phony phone number (preferably one that can?t be anyone else?s, like one that starts with 555). Last but not least, if you?re unsure about an offer, keep on moving. Better safe than sorry.

The History of Writing Tools (history of writing tools) Writing tools are essential to written communication. A person is not able to write without the proper writing tools. However, many people don?t realize that writing tools did not just pop into existence; writing tools have a long history. Writing tools have helped societies write their history and bring civilizations to life. The history of writing tools begins with the cave man that invented the sharpened-stone, which was later developed into the first writing tool. Cave men used these instruments to scratch pictures onto the walls of cave dwellings. The drawings were said to represent events in the daily life of the cave men, such as the planting of crops and hunting victories. Clay was later discovered, which made portable records possible, and many merchants of the time used clay token with pictographs to record the quantities of materials being traded and shipped. The Greeks developed the earliest form of pen and paper. They used the writing stylus, which could be made of metal, bone, or ivory, to make marks on wax-coated tablets. The tablets used by the Greeks were made in hinged pairs that were closed to protect the scribe?s notes. Cadmus was a Greek scholar who seemingly invented the written letter, which is a text message on paper sent from one individual to another. The written letter proved to be a major event in the history of writing tools, and was the starting point for the development of ink. ?Indian Ink? was developed by the ancient Chinese society, and perfected for writing. The ink was originally designed for blacking the surfaces of raised stone-carved hieroglyphics, but was later used for writing. This early ink was made of a mixture of soot from pine smoke and lamp oil mixed with the gelatin of donkey skin and musk. By the year 1200 B.C. the ink had become common as a writing tool. Inks were also developed by other cultures, who used natural dyes and colors derived from berries, plants, and minerals to create them. The different colors of inks had ritual meanings attached to each color in early writings. In the history of writing tools the development of ink paralleled the introduction of paper. Early cultures such as the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews used papyrus and parchment paper to write on. Romans invented a reed-pen for parchment and ink, from the hollow tubular-stems of marsh grass and the jointed bamboo plant. The bamboo stems were converted into writing tools that resemble the fountain pen. The plant was cut at one end into the form of a pen point, and ink filled the stem, by squeezing the reed, writers could force the ink from the point and write on parchment paper. The early forms of ink and paper were great developments in the history writing tools, but were often unstable. A stable form of ink was developed in 400 A.D., which was a composite of iron-salts, nutgalls, and gum. The ink was seen as having a bluish-black hue when applied to paper, but quickly becoming a darker black color, and fading after years and appearing as a dull brown color. The Chinese created a wood-fiber paper in 105 A.D., but it was not known to other cultures until 700 A.D. when the Japanese learned the secret. Eventually, the wood-fiber paper was brought to Spain in 711 A.D., but was not widely used in Europe, as most European societies did not use paper until the 14th century. The quill pen is also a major invention in the history of writing tools. The quill pen was introduced to the world in 700 A.D. The pen was made of bird feathers, and the strongest quills were typically taken from live birds from the outer left wing feathers. After the development of the quill pen, plant fiber paper became the popular medium for writing. Then another invention changed the history of writing tools; Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. This invention has led to various other developments in printing and writing tools. Writing tools are essential to writing, and without the development we would not be able to show others our ideas and thoughts.

Free Downloadable Software ? Not Always a Scam Do you want to download free software off the World Wide Web, but you are afraid of getting your computer infected with a virus, spyware or other bad cyber invaders? If so, you will be happy to learn that there are many websites that specialize in legitimate free downloads that won't cause your computer to become awash in viruses or spyware. Here is a just a brief sampling of different websites that specialize in free (and safe) downloadable software. These sites let you enjoy the best of the web without the danger of less reputable websites. Get Your Fill of Entertainment at Download.com Are you looking for a place where you can download free games and tools? If so, Download.com should cause you to rejoice. This site contains a wide range of games, tools and utilities. This website bills itself as a haven for "safe, trusted and spyware-free" software. Savvy web surfers know that Download.com offers the best library of legal and totally free software downloads, game downloads and music downloads. This website is also known as a well-regarded repository of credible and relevant information about the latest game releases, software updates and other free downloads. All of the downloadable software found on this site is put through a rigorous set of tests. Moreover, registration is fast and free. You can even write your own reviews for software and participate in the active CNET forums. From fun to functional, you can probably find what you are looking for right here. Update Your Drivers for the Smoothest Web Experience In order to make sure that you always get the smoothest online experience possible, make sure to update your drivers on a regular basis. DriversHQ.com offers you an easy way to make certain that you always have the best and latest drivers on your computer. This site allows you to detect its own Driver Detective software services. Drivers Headquarters is known as the best driver update service. This service is easy to use and it is designed to help you upgrade your update your drivers in a safe and fast manner. They even have new drivers that support XP and Vista programs. Use their driver detective to find what needs to be updated, and to update your current drivers. Tired of Nagging Software Updates? Then Head On Over to Nonags.com Are you tired of downloading software, only to have it nag you with updates on a regular basis? Are you tired of being hassled by your own downloads to buy the upgraded versions? Here is a refreshing website that offers you downloads that do not put a limit on the number of days you can use them, and that do not constantly pester you to purchase the upgraded version of the software download. This website is an amazing compendium of the latest freeware, along with editor picks and user ratings. Get the Latest and the Greatest at Tucows Where can you turn for the latest and the greatest in safe software downloads. If so, you will want to place a bookmark on the Tucows.com website. This is one of the most amazing collections of safe and effective downloadable software. You can choose from freeware, shareware and pay software. Tucows.com features software downloads for your Windows PC, your Mac, Linux-based systems, your PDA and programs to streamline and improve your online experience. This site has become a popular spot to find hard-to-find software for Mac computers. Enjoy the editorial ratings and the myriad range of programs and tools. Enjoy everything from poker software downloads to design programs that help you achieve your highest level of creativity.

Five Positive Actions You Should Do After a Lay-off Lay-offs are hard for most people and are essentially difficult to cope with if you were and excellent worker and outstanding employee. Sometimes lay-offs are general cuts such as the closing of a whole department. It often times hits good employees that the company otherwise would have never gotten fired. So what do you need to do after you get laid off? Here are five positive steps you should take after you have been laid-off. The first and probably most important step is coping with the situation. Get your feelings straightened out. Of course you are upset and plain dumbstruck by what happened, but if you are not able to get this sorted out with yourself, the company is not going to take you back. Then you won?t even have a chance of finding another job. In some cases, if it was not very clear why you have been fired, it helps to talk to coworkers, and maybe the human resource person to just find out that it was not you or any of your doings that got you laid-off. Within this step falls also the realization that the job market currently is a tough one and that you might have to make some budget adjustments first off all. Do not be picky about what kind of jobs you want to choose. Sometimes, this means a new beginning, some job you might like much better than your old one, and you just do not know it yet. After you have been able to work through the situation and are ready for the job hunt, get your résumé out. If you have not been looking for a job in a while it might be dusty and not be up to date. Add your last job to the list; add your role and responsibilities to your list and maybe you even have to adapt your résumé to a more current style. Résumés and cover letters are your way into a job and the first impression that a new employer gets from you. When you are finished getting your résumé up to date, apply to as many jobs as there are. As a third step, make yourself clear that the job market is difficult and finding a new job might mean to apply for something that you might have not really wanted to do, maybe because you did study it, but you never really liked in the university classes? Well, it is worth applying for. The sooner you get another job, the better of you are. Face it, if you really do not like the work you can find another job after a year or two. After a lay-off it is very important to get back into the working world as fast as you can. To make your job search even more successful, as a fourth positive step after a lay-off, you also need to network. Talk to friends, other companies? bosses you know, and anybody you have ever met that might have a job available for you. Besides networking, you can also always try to do some cold calling, writing letters to businesses that are not having a newspaper add out. There is always the possibility that they are looking for somebody. As a fifth positive action after you are laid-off there is always college. Taking classes that will refresh your topic and specialty you are working in can make a good bullet on your résumé. If the job market is quite tough, why not go back and finish that degree or add another maybe a graduate degree. This always is better on your résumé than plain being out of work.