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mneedham

mneedham
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Member since: 01.11.2000

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    • Leicester City FC in general / Discussion / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      05.05.2001 07:29

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      Leicester are in trouble! - Advantages: Were good previously, Good manager - Disadvantages: Poor performance at moment, Can Taylor turn them around?

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      11.03.2001 06:54
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      In a competitive market the Revo stands out because it does many different things well. The Revo has some limitations. However, its various features distinguish it from the pack. Keyboard: I had decided to purchase a Handspring Visor. It is a very capable handheld which is easy to use and functional. At a local CompUsa I practiced graffiti and found it slow. I was drawn to a Psion Revo. I practiced with the keyboard. Although it certainly is not equal to a standard keyboard it worked well. The Revo keyboard is as good or better than the after-market keyboards available for the Palm and Handspring. You also do not need to carry the extra keyboard. Edge to Revo. Screen: The Revo's screen is larger than the screen on the Palm or Visor. It is not backlit (and of course not color) but it is larger and easier to read. Many other reviewers are discouraged by the absence of a backlight but so far I have not had a need for a backlight. Edge to Revo. Functions: When it comes right down to it, I purchased the Revo because of its existing programs. If you intend to (buy) and load lots of after-market programs on your PDA buy a Handspring, Palm or Windows CE machine. The Revo offers some useful programs on various Symbian (its operating system's) websites, but there are far fewer programs than produced for Palm OS. But look at what you do get: The Revo has the usual, Agenda, Contacts and a To Do list. It also has a very useful word processor. In fact, you can drag and drop Word documents with your PC. I have placed letters produced with Word on the Revo and have edited them while waiting at the DMV. Later, with my PC I drag them back into Word and print. There is also a spreadsheet program which works well with Excel. For some the word processor and spreadsheet capability (with the compact keyboard) makes the Revo the handheld to buy. In most cases, edge to Revo. Syncing: When I compared the Handspring with the Revo I was most concerne
      d about syncing. If the Revo did not sync well I would have returned it. I use Microsoft Outlook at work on a Windows NT platform. On Outlook I enter calendar dates, use tasks extensively and contacts too. I absolutely had to have accurate and thorough syncing. As far as I can tell, the Revo syncing is flawless. In fact, sometimes I find myself picking up my Revo to add or check a date or to do. I have not used the e-mail feature due to the volume of e-mail I get. My systems administrator told another colleague using a Handspring to avoid the e-mail function as well. I expect both the Handspring and Revo to handle e-mail equally well. Edge to Revo. Expandability: The Handspring is getting a lot of attention because of the Springboard. The expansion modules may one day make the Handspring the PDA to have. I bet most people really do not need or want the modules available today (except for the extra flash memory.) You cannot expand the Revo. It has 8 mb which seems to fill fast. Moreover, the battery pack in the Revo, which has a lifespan of about two to three years, must be replaced by Psion. Edge to Handspring. Think carefully, as I did, about what you really expect to get from your handheld. MAC use: I have an iMac at home. At work I use a PC. The Revo is not yet Mac friendly. A serial adapter is needed. If I had to sync with a Mac I would not buy a Revo. Features: The Revo uses an easy to navigate file and folder format. There is a full feature calculator, jotter and database. You can connect with a cellular phone which has a similar infrared connector. I have not tried this. Apparently, if the cellular phone has a modem you can access the internet through your regular ISP. Summary: Handhelds are easy to use. If you use an organizer, such as Outlook at work, a handheld will make your life easier. The Revo stands out because of the keyboard and useful programs. There are things the Revo does very well compared to equally priced P
      alms. The Revo cost £250. In that price range it is an exceptionally versatile tool. You may be able to get more at a higher price, but for a meat and potatoes handheld, this product functions very well. A Revo Plus will be on the market shortly. It will offer 16 mb. The list price is £400.

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      • Sony DVP S 360 / DVD Player / 0 Readings / 18 Ratings
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        11.03.2001 06:46
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        My reasons for buying a Sony DVD player are simple 1. All my previous Sony products have been flawless (Trinitron TV, Discman, CD player, cordless phone). 2. From all the available information I have, Sony has been the best for playing all kinds of DVD's without problems and that was what really sealed the deal. If you run into a problem like this 30 days after you buy the player you are for the most part out of luck. Okay enough of this, allow me to continue. ______________________________________________________________ What's in the box? When you open the box you will see the DVD player wrapped in styrofoam cloth, with two large pieces of styrofoam at the ends. In a plastic bag you will find one remote control and batteries. In another bag you will find a owners manual that is 66 pages long. You will also find a registration card / survey. The warranty from Sony is 90 days parts and labor and one year on parts. After 90 days the labor is on you. Also included is an offer from Sony and Netflix. For buying a Sony DVD player Netflix is giving you 10 free rentals. You punch in the code (at their website) on the paper work to get the deal. You rent movies, they come in the mail along with pre-paid envelopes to mail them back. In the literature Netflix claims there are no late fees or due dates. When you are done with it, you drop it in the mail. I have not taken them up on the offer as of yet. Also inside is one set of RCA cables for the audio L, R and one for video (composite). If you want or need to make use of a S-Video cable, component video, optical, or coaxial digital you will have to buy those cables yourself as they are not included. One last thing thrown in for free is that new component smell. I love to take a deep breath when I open the box of a new toy. Sony didn't skimp on that "new car smell" if you will. HA! Construction The fit and finish is excellent. The pla
        yer is black as 95% of all players are. It is all steel top, bottom and sides. Only the face plate is plastic. Have you ever used a flash light and the non label side of a compact disc to see the back of a component? If so you are a major geek. Did I just put myself down? A nice touch here is the "engraved" input/output label on the top of the player at the rear. If you have a lot of equipment (as I do) you will LOVE this. If you have ever struggled to look at the back of your player to a hook up or disconnect, you probably have post it notes or tape to help you. On the top at the rear Sony has put writing that is "dented" into the metal, for audio L and R video out and S-video. Also labeled are the digital outs. Only the component outputs are not labeled. So if you can see the top of the player you can do the rest by feeling the jack(s) on the back. I have made use of it and it is really a blessing. The hook-up If you know how to connect a VCR to your TV you are set. I am always amazed that people ask me how a DVD player is connected. The technology is different but in the end the output/input stuff is the same. If you have a TV with RCA video/audio inputs and or S-video it's pie. You connect the Video out (from the DVD player) to the Video in on your TV. The same goes for audio and you're done. I have a surround sound receiver so only the video signal is going to my TV. The audio portion is going to my receiver. It is like connecting a VCR except you are not running cable TV to it. The owners manual will explain this and the digital audio (for components that use it) connections. If you can read and have even a little common sense you will be just fine. The front panel The display is of the blue/white fluorescent variety. The positives here, the display numbers and letters are large. The display is also very bright. It has three settings, bright, low and for those that turn the lights out and do not w
        ant to see it you have the option of turning it off completely. You can still see that info (on your TV) by hitting the display button on the remote. The front panel display shows the usual stuff here. Chapter number or track number for CD, also hour minute and seconds are displayed. There are also indicators that light up when Dolby or dts are detected. Buttons on the front that give direct access The VES (Virtual Enhanced Sound) this adds delay, reverb and makes some kind of phase changes to the sound for those that don't have surround sound set up. This gives the illusion of surround out of two speakers (left and right) in reality it makes the sound more spacious but the surround thing is far fetched. Two speakers up front are just that, two speakers up front. You have the standard stop, play, pause and track skip. There is also a title button (for quick subtitle access) and a DVD menu button. This gives you access to features specific to the DVD you are playing, like alternate camera angles, languages, and special extras like deleted scenes and actor/director commentary. There are a lot more functions to access and to keep the front panel from getting too cluttered there is a joystick on the right front panel. To go deeper into the functions you can hit the DVD menu button and use the joystick. Or you can hit the display button and use the joystick to get into the nitty-gritty like audio settings (Dolby or DTS) and video settings like choosing the default to widescreen or pan & scan. Here is where you get to parental access options, language options for the menu and options for viewing bit rates (audio & video). Bottom line, you can get to everything should you lose the remote. The back of the unit Sony has for years been notorious for being stingy with inputs and outputs. Especially when it came to their TV's it seemed that you always had to shell out more money for another set of RCA ins and outs and more f
        or an extra S-Video jack and component jacks. Well it seems as far as DVD goes, Sony has listened to the complaints. For an entry level player the number of jacks is excellent. Analog audio outputs 2 Video outputs composite 2 S-Video outputs 2 PCM dts & Dolby optical digital 1 coaxial digital 1 and finally one set of component outs Y Pb/B-Y PR/R-Y (as listed on rear of component) The analog audio and composite video outs are both always on so there is no switching involved. Having these extra outs is great for more flexible set ups. If you want to run a set to a receiver and another to a CD burner, VCR or any other component you want. The player features -disclaimer-These are merely the highlights if you will. To list every little detail and option would cause this review to become insanely long as opposed to just really long. This player will pass a Dolby Digital or dts signal but has no onboard decoder. I myself do not see this as a problem. Basic receivers with onboard decoding abound so for the most part this should not be a problem. But if you actually have a receiver with optical or coaxial digital inputs with no Dolby or dts decoding onboard you are out of luck. If your receiver has 5.1 analog inputs you are still out of luck as there is not a set of 5.1 analog outs on the unit. For onboard decoding you will have to move up one in Sony's DVD player line. This player will play DVD's, CD's and Video CD's (versions 1.1 and 2.0). Video CD's are not very common in the U.S. and they are not DVD quality picture wise so I don't see this as a bonus. Like all Sony players this will not play CDR's or CDRW's, some other brands and models do. If you feel that you need a player with that ability do your research. Some brands will play them but it varies from model to model. I have no need for this but some cry about it. I think many do that because it's s
        omething to complain about. I would bet that anyone with a DVD player has one or more CD players in the house anyway. This unit will also display CD text, but CD text is still rare on most new releases. Some discs contain the text of all the song titles. Others contain all the lyrics as well (stored in the sub-code section of the disc) but I tried it here with mixed results. While my Sony disc changer displays the album title and all song titles (for CD's that contain text) this DVD player displays the album title only. It displays it on the front panel and on your TV screen if you activate the display button, both of which can be found on the remote and the front panel. VES I don't buy into the techno mumbo jumbo of Sony and others about these audio enhancements. They are nice for those that have a pair of nice speakers for music listening but have yet to purchase the center, rear and L.F.E. speakers. But this idea that you are going to be fooled even remotely by such audio trickery into thinking that your are listening to surround sound is a joke. Yes it adds some spaciousness and keeps the sound from sounding like it's locked in the front but that's about it. Parental Control For parents with young (or not so young) children this is a great idea. Now when I first saw this I thought it was some V-chip style control. You know you program the thing not to play anything beyond PG-13 for example. Well it seems DVD's are not set up that way. So what you have here is the ability to lock out up to 50 DVD's that you own, with a four digit password. Not the best solution but it's something. So if your little one borrows a disc from a friend or some other means it is possible that they can play it regardless of the content. Create your own program This allows you to program the order in which your CD, DVD or video CD is played. For DVD you simply punch in the chapter numbers in the order you
        want them played. Why someone would want to do this is beyond me. I know I will never use this except for maybe CD's but I will not use this as a CD player so no bonus for me here. But if you feel the need for this feature it's here. You can also use a shuffle and random play function as well. Smooth Scan Anyone that has hit forward on a DVD player at home or at the store has noticed that DVD's are nothing like video tapes. To display a decent picture while going forward quickly involves some trickery. The chips in DVD players are crunching a lot of numbers as they calculate the decryption, MPEG-2 data reduction and who knows what other data reducing tricks. Sony has for the most part solved the problem. The slow scan moves a 2X in forward and reverse, at that speed the picture is almost perfect. The manual does not give the speed for the fast forward. Using my watch it seems that about ten seconds of movie go by for every second that passes. Not very scientific so I would put it a 8X to 10X. Even at this speed it is very smooth, it never gets so jerky that you can't tell what is going on. The Remote Control You didn't think I was going to forget the couch control did you? The remote is a tad on the big side. It is about the same size as my Sony TV remote and about 20% (I'm guessing here) bigger than other DVD player remotes. But it is not so big that it will bother most people. It is easy to use, the pad near the bottom that takes place of the joystick on the unit is perfect. The basic player functions are easy to get to, they are logically laid out and easy to get used to. One the negative side it is not an illuminated remote so you will have problems in the dark before you have become proficient with it. The remote will also control other brands of TV's and receivers so you don't have to fumble with two or three remotes. It has the codes built in for 38 (yes I counted) brands of TV's. They a
        re all major names so you should be covered here. For receivers it will control only eight brands they are as follows, Sony, Denon, Kenwood, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sansui, Technics and Yamaha. If your receiver is of another brand you are out of luck. You will have to use the original remote or buy your own universal remote. And finally The picture and Sound The TV I'm using is a Sony Trinitron 27" purchased in 1998. If your TV is less than 27" I would not even bother with purchasing a DVD player. For best results I would go 27" or larger and the quality of the tube counts as well. I would recommend nothing less than a Sony Trinitron, Wega (pronounced Vega) Panasonic "Super Flat" or other similar quality TV. If you have a TV that does not have video (composite or S-video) inputs you will miss a lot of the detail. Check before you buy, VHS has a resolution of about 240 lines. Standard TV broadcasts are about 330, Super VHS and DirecTV are at the 400+ mark. DVD is closer to 500 lines of resolution, you want a TV that will resolve that detail. So how does it sound and look man! Fantastic! The End. Seriously when you hook up a DVD player to your TV for the first time it really stuns you (I am using the S-video connection). You look at VHS like there was vasaline smeared on the screen all these years. Same for cable. It even looks a touch better than DirecTV. Even though they both employ the MPEG-2 standard I think that the bit rate on 18" dish type broadcasts are much lower since bandwidth is being shared with a couple of hundred other channels. Digital artifacts are rarely seen, so the player is doing an excellent job in the decode department. Even when they are seen they are fine and subtle. I must admit that artifacts can be seen in any player if the disc was encoded poorly. This player has had no problems with movies so far, no freezing, hang-ups or speech sync problems. I have playe
        d, to name a few- Heat (dual layer 172 minutes) X-Men, Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill Live, The Matrix and Leon the uncut international version of The Professional dual layer 133 minutes. The picture is crisp, clean and sharp. The sound with my Yamaha receiver in pro-logic and Dolby Digital is excellent. Even though most movie sounds are created and captured on special sound stages the sounds are incredibly real. Footsteps, the flick of a cigarette lighter and even the sound of someone taking a drag of their smoke is amazing. I see fine details I did not see before, like hair, the fibers in clothing during close-ups, smoke and city lights in the distance are amazing. So as far as the picture and sound go I am very happy. I have tested the unit with some music CD's and it might be my imagination but it seems a little smoother than my Sony CD player. Reason to hold off on getting a DVD player? Well at this time I don't see any reason not to get one, not any major reasons. They are now fairly cheap, and they pack more than players from two years ago. You can rent them at most video chains. And the price to buy them has fallen, I picked up Heat for $9.99 and The Matrix for £20. A big difference from a couple of years ago. DVD audio This is the only reason I can see for holding out. This is a new standard that will make use of all the space on a disc including the space for the video and devote it all to audio information. Early reviews have described the sound as incredible. Those units have just hit the market and of course cost more. I will pass on DVD audio because I am waiting for SACD (Super Audio CD) to come down from space in the price department. So you might want to consider this if you consider yourself an audiophile. The bottom line This is a great player so far. I have only had the unit in my hands for a couple of weeks. If I run into problems in the future I will add that information.
        After using DVD I don't even want to look at my VCR anymore let alone watch movies on it. Selling it is not really an option, new VCR's are £80 or about £150 for Hi-Fi Stereo with some bells and whistles. So who would want my old one? I think I will use my old VCR for target practice, no I know I will. The pictures of my Swiss cheese VCR and WebTV unit will be posted on my profile page in the near future. Hey I might as well kill two birds with one bullet.

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        • GM and cloning / Discussion / 0 Readings / 28 Ratings
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          10.03.2001 04:21
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          Should human cloning research projects be allowed to proceed on the basis of possible medical advances?” Abstract Should human cloning research projects be allowed to proceed on the basis of possible medical advances? The scientific knowledge that we, as a society, have obtained over the years has brought us to the verge of cloning a fully functional human being. Research has been put in jeopardy, because of the fear of its misuse. However, research must be allowed to continue, not so much to produce a fully function human being, but rather to gain deep insight into the workings of the body especially in the development of the cell and genetics. These have the potential to revolutionise medicine. Such benefits, however great, do not come without risks and so it is important for us to be aware that such knowledge and understanding could potentially be used for purposes other than those originally intended. The real threat comes from the possible misuse of gene therapy. Having been originally pursued for medical reasons, to bring us closer to solving genetic disease, it could quite easily be adapted for cosmetic purposes. The question is where does one draw the line between medicine and cosmetics? It is necessary for society to draw that line, before the possibility becomes a reality. Although human cloning research projects are under fierce attack, many of those opposing seem to have missed the key point. “Thinkquest” eloquently states that “Most of the future cloning developments will not concern the reproduction of humans, but will focus on using cloning to better understand cell development, heredity and genetic structure. Cloning will be used for far more than replicating a mammal or reproducing a child.” It is for this reason that research must be allowed to continue in a way that society may reap the medical benefits, whilst limitations are put on other cosmetic aspects. Introduction <br> The knowledge that we have obtained over the last two decades has brought us so close, that we are now only a footstep away from cloning a fully functional human being. Research into such projects must be allowed to continue, not so much for an end product but rather because, in doing so, we will gain further insight on the body’s workings and, thus, give ourselves the potential to revolutionise medicine. Such benefits, however, do not come without risks and it is important for us to be aware that such knowledge and understanding could potentially be used for purposes other than those originally intended. It is necessary for society to impose restrictions now, before the time comes, on what the knowledge may be used for. Cloning, the production of genetically identical organisms, was conceived in 1928 when Hans Spemann successfully conducted the first nuclear transfer experiment. Since that time, scientific interest in the topic has done nothing but increase, leading us to the point at which it may change the way we look at medicine and, thus at human existence. While working with salamanders, Spemann tied a strand of hair around a newly fertilized egg cell so that it formed two compartments, one containing solely the nucleus and the other containing the cytoplasm . Making sure that no cell matter was allowed to pass between the two compartments, he then allowed the side containing the nucleus to naturally divide until it became a sixteen-cell embryo . Then, by loosening the hair dividing the sixteen-cell embryo from its original cytoplasm, Spemann allowed one of the nuclei to pass into the cytoplasm. To conclude the experiment, Spemann tightened the hair again so that the two compartments split leaving a single cell embryo that developed as normal. It was from these results that Spemann anticipated the transfer of adult nuclei into enucleated cells . However, this could not be accomplished at the time because technology and knowledge restri
          ctions wouldn’t allow it. Our knowledge of genetics was increasing at the time of Spemann’s experiments and it was Oswald Avery, in 1944, who discovered that DNA was the molecule that carried the cells genetic code. This knowledge altered the direction of genetic research because previously it had been believed that protein carried the genetic code. Research on DNA continued, but it wasn’t until 1953 that its structure could be determined. By using the X-ray crystallographic data collected by Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Francis Crick obtained images of the DNA molecule and from that constructed the three dimensional model of the double helix. Eight years later, Crick, with the help of Sidney Brenner, discovered that codons specify for amino acids and in 1966, Marshall Niremberg specified exactly which codons coded for each of the twenty amino acids. This growing insight into how our cells carry our genetic information led to further knowledge and understanding in the cloning world. As a result of the continuing discoveries, Karl Illmensee managed to create mice that had only one parent. In order to achieve this, Illmensee utilised the fact that just after fertilisation, the DNA from the mother and the father is still separate. These two separate sets of DNA are known as pronuclei. By removing one of the pronuclei and duplicating the remaining one, he was able to leave the egg with the DNA of only one parent. The eggs developed into mice identical to one of their parents. Up until 1978 there had been no opposition to research into cloning, but David Rorvik’s book “In His Image: The Cloning of a Man” changed that. His novel brought what had previously been a solely scientific endeavour into the world of ethics. For the first time, the power that the scientists had been accumulating with animals, such as salamanders and mice, was shown to have implications for humans. Rorvik told the story of a single, old man
          desiring a son. He claimed that, in real life, he was approached by this man and asked for help in finding a scientist willing to clone him. Rorvik continued by claiming that he aided the old man and found a doctor willing to carry out the complicated procedure for the price of £1,000,000. The procedure was carried out using the nuclear transfer technique, creating a young boy, born of a surrogate mother. This work of fiction, at the time was thought to be real and so brought into context what could be achieved by the ongoing research. However, it also shifted the concentration from a scientific to an ethical issue and caused great commotion amongst the general public. Since then, the progress of such research has met resistance, from protests and debates. Cloning (1984 – Present day). Despite such a negative public reaction in response to Rorvik’s novel, scientists proceeded with the next step, cloning a mammal. In 1984, using the nuclear transfer technique, Steen Willadsen cloned a sheep from an 8-cell embryo. What made this experiment different from its predecessors was in fact that Willadsen used an unfertilised egg, rather than a fertilized one, as he found that it more readily accepted the transferred nucleus. Having fused the two cells, he covered the embryo in agar and placed it in the oviduct of a sheep for a short period of time. Willadsen then placed the developing embryos in the uteri of surrogate mothers for normal development. Of his 3 successfully developing embryos only one was born alive. The debate around cloning died down at this time because it was believed that, although a sheep had been cloned, it had been achieved only by using undifferentiated cells . It was thought impossible to clone anything from differentiated cells, let alone from adult cells, so Rorvik’s premise was thought to be impossible. However, Willadsen stunned the world in 1986 when he cloned a cow from a week old, already differentiated emb
          ryo, proving that the complete DNA strand remains intact after differentiation. If this was true, cloning from adult cells was no longer impossible. Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell embarked on a study to try to clone a sheep from adult cells. Campbell believed that, in order for the nuclear transfer technique to work effectively the cell cycles of the donor and the recipient must be in synchrony. This would ensure that, in the two cells, the nuclei would be at the same stage of development. Since, It was thought that after fertilisation, the egg cell enters a state of suspended animation so as to collaborate its two pronuclei, Campbell felt the donor cell should also be in suspended animation. A cell in this state of suspended animation is biologically known to be at “gap zero” or in “G0 state”. Since the donor cells that the researchers were to use would never naturally reach gap zero, Campbell devised an in vitro method to force them there. The donor cells were allowed to divide and form a culture in a petri dish. From this culture a single cell was taken and given the minimum amount of nutrients for it to survive. The depletion of nutrients causes the cell to shut down all of its active genes and enter gap zero. Once the donor cells could successfully be forced into gap zero, Wilmut and Campbell could fuse a donor cell with an enucleated egg, in a similar way to that of Willadsen, by using an electrical current to simulate fertilisation. It was this technique, now known as the Roslin technique, that they used in 1995/96. Wilmut took mammary cells of a six-year-old Finn Dorset sheep and forced them into gap zero. Of the 277 cells that he fused with unfertilised eggs, 29 developed into normally developing embryos. These embryos were allowed in incubate in the oviducts of sheep for a week before being transferred into the uteri of surrogate mothers. When one of the embryos turned into a successful pregnancy and led to the birth of 
          220;Dolly” on 5th July 1996, they had cloned the first mammal from adult sheep cells. The news of Dolly’s birth in Scotland rekindled the international debate that had previously subsided. However, unlike before, fear was, this time, founded on reality. If sheep had been cloned, it was almost certain that humans could be cloned in the same way. The future of cloning projects was threatened when U.S. President, Bill Clinton, proposed a five-year suspension of both federal and privately funded human cloning research. He also had the National Bioethics Advisory Commission review the prospects of human cloning and decide whether legal preventive actions should be taken. Due to mass pressure from the scientific community, neither his Cloning Prohibition Act of 1997, nor any other proposal was instituted into federal law. A year later, with the birth of Polly, a transgenic sheep, Wilmut and Campbell showed the world that genes can successfully be inserted into another species genome. In order to clone Polly, they took adult skin cells that had been genetically altered to contain a human gene. This success came five years earlier than expected and not only showed that transgenic animals can have foreign genes inserted into their genome causing them to produce a useful product (a hormone or protein for example), but opened possibilities that in the case of genetic diseases new genes could be inserted to replace faulty ones. To add even further controversy to the already raging international debates, on December 5th 1997, Richard Seed announced that he planned to produce “half-a-dozen bouncing-baby, happy, smiling [human] clones,” before any laws could be passed to prevent him. This openly defied Clinton’s proposal for a suspension of all human cloning projects and the National Institute of Health’s statement that human cloning is immoral. Wendy Cole, of Time magazine wrote “while virtually no mainstream scientist beli
          eves that Seed will succeed, there has been a subtle shift in attitude since the bearded, big boned maverick loomed into view. Seed put into words what many scientists were thinking”. Whether he succeeds or not, Seed has “opened the door” to cloning humans. In 1998, Ryuzo Yanagimachi, Tony Perry and Teruhiko Wakayama from the University of Hawaii announced that, using a new technique, they had been able to clone fifty mice from adult cells. The new technique, that has since been proven to be more effective than the Roslin technique, was developed by Wakayama himself. The announcement was incredible not just because he had been able to create so many mice, but because he had cloned his clones and had produced three generations of cloned mice. The use of mice was also spectacular because they were believed to be one of the most difficult mammals to clone. Whereas sheep eggs, having been fertilised, don’t undergo their first division for a couple of hours, mice eggs divide almost immediately making the process much more difficult to regulate. The Honolulu technique, as it has since become known, approached the problem of synchronizing the cell cycles differently. Instead of forcing mammary cells into gap zero, Wakayama concluded that using cells that naturally remain in gap zero might yield better results. Therefore, he experimented with three different types of naturally occurring gap zero cells, those of the brain, sertoli and cumulus . Having found that cumulus cells yielded better results, unfertilised mouse eggs were enucleated and their donor’s nuclei put in place. After an hour, the egg cells had accepted their new nuclei and five hours later, after no development, the egg cells were placed in a culture that simulates fertilisation. Each cell then developed into an embryo and was placed in to the uterus of a surrogate mother. This new process yielded results that were much more successful. Wakayama was able to obtain 1 clone fr
          om 33 attempts which was significantly up from the 1 in 277 of Wilmut. By cloning his clones and using them as surrogate mothers, Wakayama was also able to demonstrate that his clones were capable of carrying an in vitro fertilised egg. On December 16th 1998, a South Korean medical research team announced that they had succeeded is cultivating the first human embryo. The researchers at the infertility clinic of Kyunghee in Seoul used an unfertilised human egg and a somatic cell. At the point at where division had proceeded to four cells, the operation was aborted due to ethical considerations. However, the lead researcher, Lee Bo-Yon, said “If implanted into a uterine wall of a carrier, we can assume that a human child would have been formed and that it would have had the same gene characteristics as its donor.” Bo-Yon claims to have used the same technique as Wakayama had used, for the mice, months before. The Argument. The careful continuation of research into human cloning must be allowed to continue because it has the potential to reduce human suffering by revolutionising medicine and medical technology. Newfound knowledge from such research will help develop the overall quality of science and life, producing discoveries that will affect all the sub disciplines of the biological sciences. Although most people who are anti human cloning make creating a human clone the central issue, this is in fact, scientifically, not the primary objective, of such research, but rather to gain life-altering knowledge. Www.thinkquest.org claims, “Most of the future cloning developments will not concern the reproduction of humans, but will focus on using cloning to better understand cell development, heredity and genetic structure. Cloning will be used for far more than replicating a mammal or reproducing a child.” Medically speaking, what does the future have in store for cloning? Due to cloning research, transgenic animals ar
          e now highly valuable to biomedical research. As with Polly, we can introduce human genes into an animal’s genome to code for human proteins. These transgenic animals can then be used, humanely, as factories for human drugs. So far, sheep have been used to produce alpha-1-antitrypsin, a drug for combating cystic fibrosis and insulin, a hormone for diabetes . However, as already eluded, the complexity and reliability of cloning makes the production of transgenic animals expensive and inefficient and so we must allow research to find more successful ways to produce such organisms. Research may lead to disease treatment by allowing scientists to reprogram cells. Through such research, pancreatic cells of a diabetic might be reprogrammed to produce insulin, and then placed back in the body of the individual. Parkinson’s disease and other diseases that cause damage to the nervous system might also be treated through new cloning techniques. Since adult nerve tissue will not regenerate alone, it is believed that stem or reprogrammed cells, obtainable through cloning and grown in vitro, might be able to repair the damaged tissue, thus giving back to those affected the chance of a useful and fulfilling life. It is possible that with increased understanding in the field of genetics, due to cloning projects, animal organs that run almost no risk of rejection in human organ transplants may be produced. As of now, the problem so called Xenotransplantation is that there is a high risk of rejection due to the different protein coats on the cells of the donor animals. However, organs could be manufactured with human proteins in their coat so that risk of rejection would be minimal and so never again would a person need to look for a suitable donor. Cloning, with the nuclear transfer technique, has the potential to change the way in which farmers breed livestock. Currently, selective breeding involves the artificial insemination of an egg with “high
          quality” sperm. However, this only gives rise to 50% of the “high quality” genes in the offspring. Cloning will allow not only 100% of the “high quality” genes to be prevalent in the offspring, but will give us the ability, through gene therapy, to make whole herd resistant to diseases. Cloning, via the nuclear transfer technique, can also allow the study of cell development. The process will give insight into how cells differentiate. It will also tell us to what extent the oocyte and cytoplasm contribute to early development, hence, giving us the ability to differentiate and re-differentiate cells. All the examples mentioned are solely concerned with the medical research aspect of human cloning projects and are very often overlooked by anti-cloning ethicists. If these examples and others of the same types were all that could come from such research, there could not be and should not be any grounds for resistance. However, disturbance comes when we start to tamper with people’s genes. We should not be so quick to judge gene therapy however as we have seen that it was first pursued for medical reasons, in an attempt to cure certain genetic diseases. These attempts were successful and certain diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s disease and Muscular dystrophy are essentially curable. It is also now possible, in cases where parents risk passing genetic disorders on to their children, to screen such embryos. In such a case, a fertilised ovum may be cloned and tested for disease and disorder. If clear, the ovum may be planted in the uterus; if not, the parents could decide whether to continue or abort. In in-vitro fertilisation, it is normal practice to implant many fertilised eggs into the uterus so as to increase the chance of an ensuing pregnancy. However, it has been the case that some women could supply only a single egg. In this case, knowledge from cloning could lead to the production of eight or more i
          dentical zygotes for implantation which would greatly increase the women’s chance of becoming pregnant. Huge ethical issues arise when scientists propose to alter people’s genes cosmetically and talk of “Designer Babies.” Since we are able to replace the faulty genes responsible for genetic disorders with normal genes, then it is feasible that we will be able to replace a gene coding for green eyes with a one coding for blue eyes. Furthermore it may become possible to change hair colour, IQ and personality. This area is very dubious indeed, if this process became available to parents, it may give them the ability to go to a doctor and determine what their child would look or how it would behave. It is for this very reason that human cloning projects receive much of their opposition. Other arguments against human cloning include; the reduction of genetic variability, risk of transgenic animals passing on disease to patients receiving their products and that it is an interference with natural evolution. There are also more far out ideas, such as the possible creation of clone armies, and perfect humans. Conclusion The benefits far outweigh the possible problems that may come from human cloning research. Most of the problems are superficial and have no real substance. For instance, the claim that human cloning will reduce genetic variability is very weak. If everyone cloned themselves then, in the next generation, genetic variability would be identical to that of now. Only if cloning became the only way of reproduction and only a small percentage of the population were cloned, would our genetic variability be considerably reduced. The argument that we may obtain disease through the products of transgenic animals may be valid, but it is also true that we may catch the same diseases when we consume milk or the meat of any animal. It is possible that problems may result from financial incentive, as the foundations have
          already been set. In 1980, in the Diamond vs. Chakrabarty case, the US Supreme Court declared, “live, human-made micro-organisms are patentable material”. This momentous decision turned man-made biological products into profitable commodities, leading to the explosion of the biotechnology industry. Since that time biotech industry has reached new levels. In 1996, PPL Therapeutics obtained the patent rights for the Roslin technique and, in 1998, Probio America obtained those of the Honolulu technique. If the Supreme Court was willing to declare micro-organisms a profitable material, then when where might the dividing line be? Will cloned humans be made patentable? Wilmut, himself, put forward many valid points in his Time magazine article “Dolly’s False Legacy.” He argues, “even if the technique [of cloning] were perfected, we must ask ourselves what practical value whole-being cloning might have. What exactly would be the difference between a “cloned” baby and a child born naturally – and why would we want one?” As Wilmut says, cloning people straight is not where the problem lies like most people believe, the problem comes with the misuse of gene therapy and “designer babies”. Ever since Aldous Huxley’s novel, “Brave New World,” people have had the picture in their minds of eggs being fertilised, bottled and put on a conveyer belt to grow into babies. In this novel, the babies are brainwashed to be delighted with their genetically assigned social roles. Robert Wright, of Time magazine, in his article “Who Gets the Good Genes?” states that eugenics will allow parents to choose genetic traits, whether by selective abortion, selective re-implantation of eggs fertilised in vitro or injecting genes into fertilised eggs. This is obviously a problem. However, we must not allow ourselves to “play God,” but rather construct some sort of framework that
          allows such techniques to be used for solely medical purposes. For Instance, parents should be allowed to test their children for genetic diseases such as haemophilia so as to enable them to benefit from a cure. However a parent should not be able to change their children’s looks or IQ. There is a very thin line to be drawn here. At what point does something stop being a medical problem and start being a disadvantage? Robert Wright comments that therapists consider learning disabilities to be medical problems. If we find a way to cure them, aren’t we, in fact, raising these individuals IQ? Even if we do draw the line somewhere and ban certain eugenic manoeuvres, the financial incentive may play a prominent role. What is to stop rich parents going to more persuasive nations, that offers such treatments? The world itself must set standards to prevent such situations occurring. However, the truth is that whenever there are rules, someone is going to break them. We must, as a society, realise this fact but, at the same time, not allow it to prevent us from continuing research. What we can learn is far too important to jeopardise, because a few people may wish to abuse this learning system.

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          • Canon EOS IX / Archive Electronic / 0 Readings / 18 Ratings
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            10.03.2001 03:31
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            I purchased the Canon EOS IX because I had heard good things about it, and wanted a high quality camera to take pictures on my travels. The ergonomics on this camera is great. It exudes quality. I only had to read the manual for a few minutes and was able to take some great shots. I highly recommend getting the Canon 50mm prime lens (1.8II only costs around £100, but gives you much better pictures, I can assure you) with it. From my experience, I've taken sharper indoor pictures with this lens compared to other consumer grade lens like the 28-80mm Quantaray lens and the 55-200mm Canon lens (both lens are fine for outdoor pictures). I also recommend getting the Canon 380EX flash. The controls on this camera are well placed and intuitive. The weight feels just about right (not too light) which helps avoid camera shake. The stainless steel metal makes this a strong durable camera. The advantage of this camera compared to other APS cameras is that it is compatible with all the Canon EOS EF lens, can still be used as a point and shoot camera, has a quick autofocus, 2.5 frames per second, gives the user more control over the aperature, exposure and depth of field, and takes better pictures. This camera is great for anyone that thinks they'll want to take more creative photos then typical point and shoot cameras. I also like the fact that if I want to get into more advanced photography, I can buy one of the Canon 35mm SLR bodies and will still be able to use all my lens with it. Overall a superb camera, and well worth buying.

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            • More +
              10.03.2001 03:19
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              I bought this monitor for about £250 sown from £300. So it was actually quite a good deal for me. The M50's casing is semi-stylish in the same fashion as HP's entire Pavilion line of PC's. It's as if they really want to capture some of that iMac 'clear casings and curves' crowd, but don't feel that they can risk alienating the more traditional 'grognard' crowd that won't stand for some strange looking THING on their desk masquerading as a monitor. To me the look is attractive, but not particularly so -- it's nice to see ANY departure from the cream colored boxes we all know so well, and the contrasting shades of grey and rounded shape seem like a good compromise. If you purchase it with a Pavilion PC, as I did, It'll look right at home parked next to the tower and speakers. To be honest, the only thing I noticed when I set the monitor up was the extra cord sticking out of the back of the casing. It seems that the cord was a standard audio input cable and jack, as the M50 has a built-in microphone directly above the screen. I'm not sure I understand the logic of integrating a microphone into a monitor (web conferencing, maybe?), but it certainly hasn't hurt anything by being there. Just for kicks, I tried it out, and it actually picks up sound very well up to 10 feet away. If HP's going to put a microphone in a weird place, at least they make sure it's a decent microphone in a weird place. The rest of the setup involved tuning the picture to my liking -- a procedure that took exactly 3 seconds as the picture was perfect upon startup. Despite the fact that I was quite happy with the default settings, I played around with the menus, just to see what I could do if I wanted to. All the usual options are there, except for degaussing. I don't know if anyone has ever NEEDED to degauss their monitors, but I always liked to do it every now and again, just to watch the picture wobble
              . I'm weird that way, I guess... The options are easily adjusted through a series of easy to use, intuitive menus controlled by the 6 smaller buttons located on the front of the monitor. You'll probably never need to do so, though. After setup, I promptly forgot about the monitor entirely, which to me is probably the best thing I can say about ANY monitor. You can always spot picture problems like flickering, uneven edges, or color distortion, but the M50 exhibited none of these negative traits whatsoever in any supported resolution (up to 1024x768). In fact, it's exactly what I expect of a computer monitor in the year 2000 -- a nice, crisp, clear picture housed in a durable, attractive case with, uh, a microphone built into it. I encourage anyone looking for a good quality monitor -- especially owners of HP Pavilion PC's -- to at least take a look at the HP M50 monitor and see what it has to offer. Chances are, it'll serve you so well, you'll never really notice it again.

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            • HP Deskjet 970cxi / Inkjet Printer / 0 Readings / 39 Ratings
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              10.03.2001 03:14
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              I’ve read and heard good things about HP’s Deskjet series so I narrowed my choices the Deskjet 882, 895, and 970. I decided to go with the 970Cxi and here’s why. I’ve read good reviews on the 882 and it was fairly inexpensive, but I wanted a little speedier printer and a few more features so I eliminated that from the list. I seriously considered the 895, and it had recently come down in price to around £300. However, I had read some bad reviews on the 895 and the price reduction from HP gave me the feeling that there actually were problems with this printer. So it was down to the 970…is it worth the little extra I paid for it over the 895? I think so. So here are the pros and cons of what I’ve discovered about the 970Cxi. By the way it also comes as the 970Cse, but it’s just a difference in what software ships with it. PROS: This printer is a snap to set up. Pulled it out of the box, removed two pieces of tape, installed the two ink cartridges, and plugged it in. The software installation was merely a matter of putting in the CD and going through the simple setup and, BING, it was done. A test page was printed and I was ready to go. I was using the USB connection so I imagine that made the setup a tiny bit simpler, but the instructions were very clear for the USB and Parallel setup. The 970 is very clean looking and stylish with a very sturdy feeling. The buttons have a nice solid feel and are clearly marked. It’s very obvious how the paper should be put in and how to insert envelopes for printing. It’s also very easy to install the color and black ink cartridges. The help files are installed on your machine as HTML pages and various links to them are installed on your machine. You can access them via the start menu, the desktop, or from your favorites list in IE. The layout of the help files is intuitive and it’s easy to find things like what kind of replacemen
              t ink cartridges you need to buy. There are also links to online resources and links to places to purchase accessories and supplies. One of the most important aspects of the printer is the quality of the printouts, and I must say that the 970 does a really nice job at this. I haven’t printed a lot yet, but the text is clean and crisp and the few photos I’ve printed on regular paper are very realistic. One of the cool features of this printer is that it has the ability to do double sided printing. This was a big reason that I chose the 970 over some of the others. I not only like the fact that I’m saving paper, but when I print out long documents to read it is nice that there is only half as much paper to carry around. The double sided printing is accomplished by an attachment that quickly and easily snaps into the back of the printer. I guess it’s an attachment so that you can take it off to make the printer have a smaller footprint, but I don’t know any other reason why you would ever take it off and replace it with the other piece that doesn’t allow double sided printing. Note that you have to select double sided printing, it’s not the default. The paper tray holds a good amount of paper (150 sheets I think) so you don’t have to fill it very often. You can also single feed envelopes through a separate feed (so you don’t have to remove your stack of paper), or you can put up to 15 envelopes in the regular paper tray. If you like a lot of gee-whiz software, the 970 comes with various software packages. I don’t use these much but I’ll list them here in case somebody cares: HP Instant Delivery (automatically prints things of interest from the web), HP FontSmart, Office in Color, and By Design Office. One of the nicest things about this printer is how quiet it is. You can barely hear this thing while it’s printing. It’s a little noisier when the sh
              eet gets ejected and the next sheet is fed in, but not bad at all. How far we have come since the old dot matrix days! Some other miscellaneous plusses of this printer: It can be used with Windows or Macs. There is a print cartridge status light as well as toolbox software that shows estimated ink levels of the cartridges. Finally, the documentation is clear and comprehensive. CONS: The 970 is kind of expensive for an inkjet printer but I figured that it was an important part of my setup since I use it for a home business. Since the 970 is fairly new, not every place carries it yet, but I’m sure this will change. I’m sure the price will also come down in time. My biggest pet peeve with this printer (and with the other deskjets for that matter) is that you have to buy a USB cable or parallel port cable separately. That’s so annoying! I realize that they probably don’t want to add the cost of shipping both kinds of cables, but it still irritated me. If you want to print double sided then it will take longer than printing single sided. This isn’t a problem with the printer, but rather with inkjet technology. Since it takes a moment for the ink to dry the printer has to pause before it can start printing on the backside of the paper. This is a small price to pay though. OVERALL: I love this printer and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a high quality home/small business printer. On a side note, I purchased mine through Onsale.com and am very pleased with their prices and their service. I ordered from them and had the items on my doorstep in 2 days. They also have really great prices on USB cables. I got a 16ft A-B 20 gauge USB cable for about $5.00! If you want to buy them at a place like CompUSA you’re going to pay anywhere from $15.00 to $25.00.

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              • HP Scanjet 3300C / Scanner / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                10.03.2001 03:09
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                When I decided to purchase a scanner, I asked some friends with scanners for recommendations and did some comparisons for myself. Hewlett Packard was one name that was mentioned several times. I only wanted it for my own basic home use. I mainly use it only to scan photographs to e-mail to friends and family and for my webpage. I didn't want to pay a huge amount because of this. I's put off buying a scanner for a long time. I was a little afraid of getting one because I'd used a couple before that were very complicated. Also, several people I know have had a lot of troubles with theirs. I finally decided to bite the bullet and chose the Hewlett Packard Scan Jet 3300. The sale price of £100 as well as the features were exactly what I was looking for. When I got it home and out of the box, I was very surprised at how easy it was to connect and set up on my own computer. It only took a few minutes for me, with no problems at all, even though the instructions weren't terribly detailed. All that is required is to plug it into the wall and plug one cable into the USB port on your computer. The port is labelled clearly on my computer's harddrive, so that wasn't a problem. The software is quickly loaded. Just pop in the included CDs and follow the on-screen instructions. I had my first picture scanned and edited within a more few minutes. The Hewlett Packard Scan Jet 3300 doesn't have an on/off switch (yes, it took me a few minutes to figure that one out <grin>). You simply put your photo or document onto the glass and close the lid. You can either push the blue button on the front of the scanner to start your scan. After a few minutes, the scanned item automatically appears on the screen in the Hewlett Packard Precision Scan software. At that point, you have a number of options. You can crop it or re-size the photo right there. You can save it as an image or internet file. You can send it into Paint or Outlook Expre
                ss. You can save it as a variety of formats, including jpgs, bmps, and gifs. Also, from scanned screen, you can send it into Adobe Photo Deluxe 3.0. Adobe is the included photo editing software. With Adobe, you can do a number of things to your photo. You can fix red eyes. You can lighten or brighten and sharpen the photo. You can also use also use Adobe to create cards, calendars, labels, and some other things with your photographs. It's fun to play with the graphics! All included software is easy to use to edit your pictures. It does take a few tries to get your photos exactly like you want them to appear, but once you've got that done, it takes just a few seconds to get your photo scanned and edited just like you want it. for e-mail or webpages, I recommend playing around with the various resolutions in order to find out how quickly you can make your pictures download without sacrificing quality. Don't we all hate slow loading webpages! After you've edited it, you save it either onto your computer or onto a disk, and your scanned pictures are ready to be sent into e-mail or printed out. I'm sure more expensive scanners have a higher quality output as well as work faster, but this one is excellent for my own home use. If you are scanning a great quantity of items or if you need a higher quality output, I'd recommend going for a more expensive model with more features. But, if you simply need a quality scanner to use for photos online, I recommend the Hewlett Packard Scan Jet 3300. It's inexpensive, it's simple to use, and the output is excellent.

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                • getpaid4.com / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 68 Ratings
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                  19.01.2001 06:15
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                  I know I have already mentioned the Get Paid to Surf sites in my Online Perks opinion, but I thought I would try and expand upon them, as well as giving information on other ones I may have left out. I am sorry if this is in the wrong place, but there was nowhere else to submit it. PaysU PaysU.com was first formed in August 1999. It's a fairly new company, so it is experiencing its fair share of problems recently. I find that their payment rates are quite low to start with, but if you click the adverts then you can increase it gradually up to 30 p an hour, which is not too bad. What I am going to do is give you what they have available. In addition, I will cover a few things that you need to be aware of, if you are going to maximise your return with them. To begin with you need to know that , PayStart, PaysBack, PaysMail and PaysPoints are subsidiaries of PaysU, and they are basically different ways that you can make money from the company, wither by surfing, setting PaysU as your home page, and various other methods, like advertising on your website. PaysU calls their viewbar The PaysStation. The rate for September and October, when I was using it was a poor 12p an hour. I have received this rate by clicking on the "Alert" button when it flashes or on a banner when the "Green bar" on the viewbar begins to turn blue. PaysU advertises that with revenue sharing you may be able to earn up to 30 p an hour, as aforementioned They have generalised how to maximise the revenue sharing to simply stating that it is a combination of clicking on ads, spending money at an advertiser's site and the like. PaysU pays for a maximum of 40 hours per month, although when I first joined this figure was more like 75 hours, but they cannot afford this any longer. The website is not bad, and the accounts page is pretty good, and it is run in a real time mode, whereby any changes are done immediately. I find t
                  his feature very useful, although they do seem to cut your hours short at times, especially if the viewbar crashes. The site is quite simple to navigate, And everything is clearly laid out. The FAQ section is particularly useful to me, and has all the answers you may want. They also have a newsletter sent out by email to members,, via which they tell you of any future changes to the service. PaysStart In addition to the PayStation, you earn every time that you open up your home page, if it is set to the address that you are given. They pay 55% of what they call their "distributable" site advertising. They will also pay you 20% for the visits made by your direct referrals and 10% for first level indirect referrals. They pay 5% up to the next three levels. You get for up to 20 times a day of opening the homepage, and they must be 10 minutes apart, to stop people abusing the system. This is not going to earn you big money, but every little counts!!! Referrals You get paid 2p per hour to a maximum of 10 hours per month for your direct referrals using the PaysStation. In addition, you get paid 1p per hour to a maximum of 10 hours per month for the next four levels of indirect referrals. They say you can earn up to like £1,000 a month, but I find this hard to believe, as it is unlikely that you will know 30 people who know 30 people who know 30 people and so on. They are just saying this to attract new members. They had to recently reduce their referral payouts due to a large amount of cheating incidents in September. This is a shame, as I feel the majority of people do use these programs honestly. As a result of the cheating incidents, they lost one of their advertisers and have had to begin anti-cheating measures. I think that people doing this will eventually bankrupt the system, and I feel it is going to be very difficult for them to stop people referring themselves. Overall, PaysU's viewbar has
                  had it's share of problems connecting to the server, but this is a problem that I have noticed with a few other viewbars recently, including All Advantage in particular, which was down for ages. In addition, there have been some recent problems with the timer on the viewbar, as well as, a few other bugs. Hopefully they can get their act together and try and encourage new members to join, maybe by better payments for referrals or an advertising schemes. This is not a bad programme, but the incentive to surf for longer is simply not there. Desktop Dollars Desktop Dollars is yet another paid-to-surf program. I joined it during my obsession with pay bars, and at the time it seemed one of the better options out there for sure. To my knowledge, Desktop Dollars has been around since the beginning of last year. I joined late September having found the site via a search engine. After registering at Desktop Dollars, you need to download their viewbar called ?Profitzone.? The viewbar is approximately an inch tall and is as long as your screen. I used to leave my viewbar at the top of the screen, where it is less of an inconvenience, but it is still a bit irritating when surfing the net. It has an annoying tendency to crash, and obviously your viewing area is cut. However, it is relatively quick to download, and therefore does not take up much disk space, which is excellent. Best thing with Profitzone is that it will continue to run even if you are chatting on any of your instant messengers, which is useful to me as I spend a lot of time on these, particularly MSN. Spedia is the main exception to this, as they only pay you when you are actively surfing. This is superb, as it means you can be doing some work, checking your email, anything and you will still be getting paid!!! There is no maximum number of hours that Desktop Dollars will pay you for. You can be logged in all day and that is OK, you will receive credit.
                  Every 20 minutes, Profitzone will ask you to click the ?continue? button on the viewbar. This can be very annoying, as you cannot leave it on if you go away from your computer, although I can see their point of view because they would be paying a lot of money if they did not do this. Having logged into your account via the website, you can track the time you have spent watching the viewbar and how long your referrals have been using Profitzone each month. It is not done by how many hours you have been on the net, but by how many adverts you have viewed, and it is not really possible to find out what each advert is worth until the end of the month. They did not even pay me at all for the hours I did in October, so I was disappointed to say the least. When you get to the payout rate, they will either send you it via a cheque, or send you adebit card specially for Desk Top dollars, and then your earnings for each month are added on. I applied for this card, and unfortunately I have not received mine, almost 4 months later, so I am of the opinion that maybe they do not send them abroad. Currently, the rates for Desktop Dollars are as below: You: 45% of revenue from ads Referrals: Level 1: 15% Level 2: 5% Level 3: 2% Level 4: 1% Level 5: 1% Level 6: 1% They do not tell you how much you get paid at each level though, and therefore it would be very easy for them to declare low advertising income and then pay their members less. We would be none the wiser!!! Overall, it would have been quite a good idea, but unfortunately I do not seem to have any earnings in my account, even though I have been surfing regularly. They only update your account two months after you earn the money, meaning you only know what you earned in December in February for example. This gives them scope to rob you of earnings, and it is unlikely you will remember how long you surfed two months ago. I no
                  longer use it because it is not worth my time, more a scam with a lot of members involved. All Advantage I joined AllAdvantage in March of last year after a recommendation by a friend, who had been surfing for like 3 months previously using the bar, and had great praise for the company. I recommend that you join as a referral of someone you know and respect. They will have already experienced some of the ups and downs of AllAdvantage membership, and will have a vested interest in giving you good advice and help, which could actually help you in the future. Once you join, you will never be able to change your referrer, which is hardly surprising I suppose. AllAdvantage does not require that you have a referrer, and appears to intentionally make it convenient for new members to join without one so it can profit more greatly, by not having to pay members extra for their referrals. Current members will appreciate your effort to make sure you join with a referrer, just as you will later appreciate new members you refer giving you credit for referring them. They will also benefit from you joining under their name, although they will need to surf the same hours as you to make the referral earnings. You might as well be referred because you do not lose anything, and can help your friends to earn in the process. After you join, you will download a software program that will display ads on your screen. AllAdvantage has made significant strides in ironing out bugs in its program, but some still exist. There were loads at the start, and they can constantly crash your system if you?re not careful. For most users, downloading and installation should be smooth, and it should take maybe 5 minutes at the most, sometimes less. Once the software is installed, it will periodically update itself to the current version as AllAdvantage makes improvements and other changes from time to time. This is an excellent idea and you do not have to do an
                  ything to bring the changes into effect. The adverts are sometimes useful to you, but in general they are adverts for AA, and therefore I rarely click on them, as they are of little interest to me. Once installed, the Viewbar will run automatically when you start your computer. You can turn it off at any time. It will track paid time for you, as indicated by a green light while you are actively surfing the Web. Sometimes this just goes off for no apparent reason, and you are then not paid for your time online. While you are not surfing it will continue to display ads, but will not track paid time for you, as indicated by a red light. I think you are paid as long as your are using the Internet, but not if you are doing some work on other programs, or looking at your email, and this can be a disadvantage, as the bar will then take a few minutes to become active again. British members earn 20 p per hour for a maximum of 12 hours per month for surfing with the Viewbar running. You also get 6p for your referrals and then 3p for indirect referrals. The payment rates and hours are decreasing all the time, and I imagine that without any referrals it would take over a year to reach the payout rate, meaning that it is simply not worth your time. There are many better ways to earn money online, and unfortunately you get paid like 20 times less than working in a shop for an hour, so the incentive is again lacking. Minimum check amounts in the UK are £18 a month, and it is fairly common for checks to be delayed for various reasons, so it is wise to not count on receiving checks at any specific time. This is a significant irritant to large numbers of members who become involved in delays which are often not announces in advance, and can last weeks or even months in some cases. Explanations are seldom clear for delays. Most delayed payments are eventually made. I have never received a cheque, and probably never will, but am informed of the abov
                  e by my friend who has received three payouts from them, so at least a crumb of comfort for you. They have also started some Jackpot with £000s in it, although I would rather be paid more for surfing to be honest, as it is unlikely I am going to win. Many members experience little or no hassles with AllAdvantage. However, large numbers of members experience numerous frustrations and hassles, ranging from technical problems with their Viewbars to significant and repeated delays in receipt of their checks. I, unfortunately am one of the latter, which was a shame as AA could have been very good. AllAdvantage is believed by many to be on its way out of business. I believe the company will survive. It is important to note, however, that AllAdvantage's vision is not limited to its current "get paid to surf" scope. The company is likely to make sacrifices to this model to assure its survival and keep alive its hopes of achieving a much more grandiose mission. Virtually all communication originating from AllAdvantage indicates that to be simply a GPTS company would be a failure, and I suppose that this was inevitable in the end because it is not viable to pay people to view adverts which they don?t look at anyway, and this scheme simply did not attract bug time sponsors. Overall, AA has failed at a Get Paid to Surf Company, as they simply could not cope with the demand from their customers. Their rates went down, then their hours and then eventually they stopped paying- What a terrible state of affairs!!! Paid for Surf This is one of many pay to surf surfbar companies that appeared on the Internet the latter half of last year. Their surfing contraption is called the Surfbar, and it is similar in size to AllAdvantage's viewbar. They claim to pay out 50% of their advertising income to their members, although this is a grey area, as the users do not know how much they actually make. You are get
                  ting paid when the date shows in green on the Surfbar, but most of the time it is shown in yellow, which means that you are online but are not earning money, which is very annoying. I have tried loading up sites and using them actively, but still it stays yellow. This was very disappointing, and I am sure this would detract many potential members. PaidforSurf says they will pay you for unlimited surfing hours, unlike many similar companies which have limits of 40 hours or thereabouts. They claim payout would have been 30p per hour in recent months, although this is certainly debatable. They do actually pay though, which is a bonus, as several others have gone for a runner after wasting our time!!! PaidforSurf pays five levels for referrals; 6p for each hour surfed by first level referrals, and a 1p per hour for each hour surfed by those at levels two through five. They pay down 5 levels of referrals which is quite good, although I doubt many people will be able to take advantage of this. the levels may look pretty small on face value, but if you refer a lot off people then you will get your reward. However, there are quite a number of negative aspects of PaidforSurf. They are one of the few pay to surf companies that continues to require you to click on their ads every now and then to get paid. The required click-through % is .5%, that equals at least an average of one click-through for every two hundred ads. If you go below 0.5 % or above 5 % then you will be seen as abusing the system, and consequently your earnings per hour will fall. Accurate statistics postings are apparently few and far between, and the site is down frequently. The Surfbar can only be docked at the top or bottom of the screen, which seems to be the case with most of these companies, but that does not stop it being an irritant. Overall, it is not a bad way to earn money but again, the earnings are minimal, and there is not that much incentive for you
                  to keep the viewbar open for longer hours. You could earn more if you tried to get more referrals, but obviously it is difficult to get people to join in the first place, because at first it does not look that attractive. Go to World I started using GoToWorld in October and have found it to be intriguing but a pain in the behind. It slows my computer up drastically and doesn't pay out what I thought it would. This site seems to be useful and you can earn money from the viewbar or by the instant messenger, or so to say. I tried to download it, but could not get it to work and then the viewbar kept on crashing, so that was not much use either. I still have it on my system even though I have tried to delete it on several occasions, and this got very annoying, especially when it kept on crashing other programs as well. They pay pretty similar rates to the other companies, at around 30p an hour for 40 hours I think it is and they send you the money as a cheque. Again, it is unlikely that I will make any money out of this scheme, as it takes too long to get to the payout level. It could possibly be good, but again you will need loads of referrals to make it worthwhile for you. Overall, Pay Bars are a steady income for the average Internet user, but I cannot really see them making you big time money even if you know a lot of people. They have too many cons to make them worth your while unfortunately.

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                  • Nike Town / Sports Store / 3 Readings / 57 Ratings
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                    15.01.2001 01:52
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                    Nike Town, in case you have never been is a store on Oxford Street which sells everything Nike. It is based just across the road from Oxford Circus, and has three storeys of every type of clothing you could possibly want, from football shirts to trainers, from running gear to golf clubs. It has the lot. My first visit to Nike Town was in the summer of 1999, and I was not actually aware of its being. Anyway, I saw the shop, and having visited several similar in Chester, where I used to live, decided I would have a look inside. I noticed the superb range of equipment sold in store, but also that the prices were very much extravagant. I ran straight for the third floor, the tennis one in case you?re wondering, and was overcome with the sheer amount of gear they had there. I could have spent literally hours browsing the store, but against my best wishes, was dragged away!! I did however purchase an Orange Nike tennis bag for a reasonable £30, whereas in the local shops it had been more like £40-£50, so I was very pleased. However, having realised that just about everything else was out of my price range, I left the shop and promised myself a visit for the Christmas sales. I went back on the 31st December 1999, having been informed that the sale had now started. They seemed to have also gained a whole load of new stock and I was simply over come. Again, straight to the tennis floor I went, and was amazed that apparel previously costing a pricey £30 was now at a bargain price of only £20. I bought 3 Nike shirts for a combined total of £45, and was the envy of my friends who had gone and bought them for full price!!! They also had some bargain trainers in the sale, and I purchased the Nike Air Reckoning for a very reasonable price of £35, down from £50. My friend also bought some Nike Air Oscillate for £50, down from the RRP of £70 or thereabouts. I left very content, and with my tennis gear for the new millennium all sorted out. Af
                    ter my experience in 1999, I thought it right that I paid Nike Town another visit, and did so on the 23rd December 2000. On entry, I straight away asked when the sale started, and was told the 27th December 2000. Naturally I was disappointed, especially since it had started on the 23rd December the previous year. Nevertheless, I thought having come all that way I might as well have a look around, but was still disappointed at the lack of apparel in store. They only had a miserly 3 tennis shirts in stock, and as for the trainers, the less said the better. I was still hoping that they would bring in more stock for the sales though, and promised myself another visit later in the week. I returned on the 30th December 2000, and was yet again astonished at the lack of equipment available. It was meant to be a sale, but yet again there was very little stock in the sale, and that which was , was not exactly what I had planned to buy. I was yet again disappointed and having come all that way, yet again went home empty handed. I therefore conclude that in 1999 Nike Town was superb, but has since deteriorated, partly because of their superb sales during the year, which do not necessitate the need for reductions, as they like to call them.

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                    • Nokia 6150 / Mobile Phone / 0 Readings / 55 Ratings
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                      12.01.2001 02:02
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                      I have owned and used various Nokia phones in my time and this one is certainly something special. Its not too big or small, its got plenty of functions and yet its not complicated. So below I have described the phone in some detail. It has four key features: Firstly its superior design ? Everything is neatly packed together, with the aerial being the only major vulnerability. However, this is not such a problem as it gives you better network coverage I feel. Secondly its is Highly durable ? It's small, sturdy and has a small aerial. When using this phone I dropped it on a number of occasions, but no damaged was caused. Mind you, I would expect that most phones Nokia phones should be able to withstand damage up to a certain level. Thirdly it includes the three standard built-in games. They?re not particularly amazing but still they pass time waiting for a curry! Finally you get up to 3 and half hours' talk time and 200 hours' standby time with standard battery. This is not that bad, although maybe you would expect more for a phone of this price, and position in the market. However, it is unlikely that I am going to be on teh phone constantly for over 3 hours, so this is not really a problem for me. There are many reasons that I love this phone. Above I have described the features of the phone below are the reasons why I like the 6150. This is not the one of the smallest phone I have seen, but the quality is what attracts me to Nokia. It is very light, weighing about 5.8 ounces and measuring approximately 5.3? by 2? by 0.8?. This means that it is still small enough to go into your pocket or in the case of a lady into your handbag or even your purse. The 6150 offers excellenbt features such as a calendar (great for busy Mothers or people that need to keep track of appointments, me not being one of them), a calculator, lots of options to personalise the phone and as I?ve already mentio
                      ned three mildly entertaining games. However, I would not buy the phoen only for these features, as the main thing it is for is to phone people, as we tend to forget!!! Like all phones, it supports text messaging, data transmission capabilities and has a phone directory capable of holding up to 199 names and numbers. Nokia's soft-key menu system is intuitive and helpful. The large display screen clearly shows menu functions and features, and it is particularly useful for me with my poor eyesight. If you pause at any point during menu navigation, a brief pop-up tip appears to clarify that menu function. This can be very helpful to you, partuclarly on your first go at all the different menus. The 6150 lets you track incoming calls, outgoing calls, and missed calls in three separate logs. This is great for when I can not take my eyes off the road and get to the phone. The 'Navigate' button, centred just above the keypad provides up/down navigation for your phone directory, call logs, menu functions, and volume. Overall, this is an excellent phone, but consider that there maube be better ones avaiable like the 6210. Everyone has different tastes, and for sheer ease of use, I would buy this one!!!

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                      • More +
                        12.01.2001 00:19
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                        I lived in Zimbabwe for three years, from August 1994 to August 1997, and during my stay, was privileged to see some of the greatest sites of my life. I visited Victoria Falls, one of the wonders of the world, as well as going within 5 metres of lions in the Hwange National Park, and witnessing the pure beauty of going fishing on the Lake Kariba. I had a superb time, an I hope to convey my experiences to you: Victoria Falls Zimbabwe would not be Zimbabwe without Victoria Falls. I visited it three times, once with friends, once with relatives and then with my family. Normally, after the 3rd time you?d expect to be bored out of your mind, but this is a rarity in that the enjoyment simply gets greater every time. It is situated on the East Coast, right on the border with Zambia, and is pretty close to the Hwange National Park. It has got to be the top destination for all visitors to Zimbabwe and must surely be one of the most memorable sights in the world, I have ever seen. The Zambezi River expands to an incredible width of over a mile before thundering 100 metres down a waterfall and into turbulent white waters. This is no ordinary waterfall, but one from which you can barely see the bottom. Before reaching the falls, the river is a peaceful place with palm-dotted islands scattered throughout the water. The area around the falls is rainforest fed by the constant spray from the falls. I tell you the feeling of that cool water on your face in the 30 degrees Celsius summers was sheer joy. Rainbows can be seen from all angles. Viewing of the falls is done from within the Victoria Falls National Park where you can see antelope, vervet monkey, warthog and banded mongoose living amid the spray. (Man I wish I lived there!!!) To be within a couple of feet of wild animals is amazing, and something I can?t imagine happening in many other places in the world. Beyond the falls, the river winds its way down the gorge and provides some of the bes
                        t white water rafting in the world. Finally, it flows under the Victoria Falls Bridge and between the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia towards Lake Kariba, on the Northern border with Zambia. What makes it better than Niagara Falls though is the fact that you can get so close to the falls- You could literally get to within 5 feet of the edge, and the look down was simply the most amazing thing I have ever seen. To see the falls from the ground, you must enter the national park and it was only like the equivalent of £1 for locals, but up to maybe £15 for visitors (this was also the case with hotels in the vicinity). There were no catering facilities inside the park area so this didn't really encourage you to linger all day, although it did take a good few hours to take it all in, and gain maximum enjoyment from the park. We normally took our own food, because it was so good that you did not want to miss it just to get some food (plus the food from the vendors is not exactly reliable!!!) The park itself is quite well kept and provides viewing points dotted along the cliff walkway. However, its quite difficult to take any photographs without getting drenched by the spray (But is this a bad thing???). Mind you, just seeing the Falls was good enough for me, although obviously I did take some photos for the album!!! The town of Victoria Falls is only a few minutes walk from the falls and is the tourist hub for a huge range of activities covering both general tourism and the adrenaline adventure seekers. The town has many craft and African art shops. They only cost a couple of £s, but I hear they can sell for about £50 over here, so good is the quality. This is a tourist area and you will inevitably be approached by money-changers or people trying to sell drinks or souvenirs. However, its not that annoying and they can quite easily be ignored - there are many places around the world that are much much worse. They are genuinely trying to sell you
                        something which they think you will like, or in the first case trying to help you because you are a tourist. They certainly treat you as their own. I visited it on one occasion, but if you are here to do some serious shopping then you are in the wrong place, maybe this was better simply for browsing I would say. At the other end of the falls, the Zambezi Road leads you along the river before turning inland and heading for the Zambezi National Park. The park runs along the river for over 20 miles and contains a wide range of Zimbabwe's wildlife. The rest being in the Hwange National Park, and other National Parks, mainly located in Harare. One creature you are quite likely to see in this area is the Banded Mongoose which are rather cute little beasts, usually seen in large groups foraging through the undergrowth. I can tell you I made the most of this experience, as I doubt I will ever get the chance to go back again. If you can afford it, the Victoria Falls Hotel is highly recommended but there are many places to stay to suit all pockets. What they do is charge high prices for tourists (which I was fortunately not) which were like 10 times more than locals were charged. Ilala Lodge is less expensive and is situated in the heart of the town only a short walk from the falls. There are several excellent lodges along the Zambezi River offering guides and activities. The Elephant Hills Hotel is a was by far the best, but an eye-sore, from the outside!! This was certainly one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at, and certainly better than any I have seen in England. It was a bit like living in a lodge, and the beautiful view of the Victoria National Park made the experience even better. The food served was excellent and the staff very friendly. They really made you feel at home, and could not have done anything more to make our stay any better. Anyway, I have now seen one of the greatest attractions in the world, and I sugges
                        t that anyone visiting Zimbabwe would visit here. It is simply amazing, particularly in them summer time, and it is certainly an experience which will remain with me for the rest of my life. I visited it three times, but I am sure you will enjoy it just as much if you only go once. Hwange National Park I visited Hwange twice during my three year stay, and again I think it was better the second time. Basically, you stay in a little enclosure within the park, in lodges, and then during the day you go out with some guides from the park, and try and get as close to the animals as you can. Hwange is Zimbabwe?s most accessible and most densely game-packed national park in the whole country, and indeed within the whole of Southern Africa. It is best to visit in the autumn, when it is more dry, and the animals more willing to come out. Even so, the scenery is still amazing during the rainy season, and something you will never encounter in England, I can guarantee it!!! The value is simply superb, especially for locals- It only cost like £10 a night for us, whereas it was more like £50 for our relatives from here, but still for what you received the value is not in doubt. My best moment in the park was on my last day there, when we say an antelope being captured by a leopard. It then took it up into a tree, before running away. We waited to see if it would ever come back but to no avail. It was amazing though to see the antelope being taken down, as normally you only get to see these things on the television. The best though for sheer closeness are the elephants and antelopes, which are not frightened to come within a couple of metres of the buggy. You could literally spend hours out there simply in admiration, without getting bored. I particularly enjoyed watching the animals coming to the watering hole in the early morning, and watching how the little animals were gently pushed away until later!! The evenings
                        were particularly enjoyable as well, where we all sat around the warm log fire and had a barbecue, which consisted of the best steak I have ever tasted and some delicious potatoes as well. All of this included in the price of course. They also provided entertainment during these evenings, and it was often some locals doing tribe dances, which were unusual to say the least. The people were again extremely friendly and made out stay welcome. Lake Kariba Kariba is a man-made lake created following the completion of the Kariba Dam which was built in the 1950s to harness the waters of the Zambezi River and provide hydro-electric power to both Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Zambezi Valley which incorporates Lake Kariba is today one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Africa. There has been a great amount of rain in recent years, which has some what taken away the appeal of Kariba. It is very difficult for the animals to reach the water, and the air became very humid which was not too good for me as it irritated my eczema. Kariba has a slightly eerie atmosphere which is perhaps due to the numerous dead trees which still protrude above the water from the spot where they once flourished. Both sunsets and sunrises give spectacular displays of light over the lake. It looks simply superb though from a distance, although I imagine somewhat daunting in the evenings of complete darkness. Two of the lakes most common inhabitants are the hippo and the crocodile. Both are quite difficult to observe. The hippo will stay submerged much of the time and only come up for an occasional breath of air giving a brief chance to spot the twitching ears and the peering eyes. Crocodiles are usually content to bask by the side of the lake looking very much like dead logs - until you approach and they slip into the water with a quiet splash. It is certainly excellent to watch from close up (we got to within maybe 15 metres of them). I would no
                        t like to be one of the animals caught by them though!!! Lake Kariba is a tremendous wildlife experience which is much better than many African locations because of the variety of the secenery and the number of different ways in which to explore (e.g. drive, walk, cruise, canoe, fishing vessel, etc). A visit is highly recommended. The fishing trip was my favourite part of my visit, and it was very enjoyable. We mainly caught trout, although the guide did catch one fish so big that he needed our assistance to drag it over board. We even got to eat the fish (having cooked them) later on back at the camp. They tasted delicious, and you really felt a sense of achievement as you had caught them yourself. Now, I am not a real fishing fan, but how could I give up the opportunity to fish on Kariba Lake? Kariba is another superb attraction, this time on the North coast of Zimbabwe, although I would say Victoria Falls is still more enjoyable. It is more for those who want a quite time, and there are several activities which provide this. Overall, Zimbabwe is a superb place to visit, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. These are the main attractions for when you are there, but of course there are many more minor Game Parks and attractions to visit when you arrive Enjoy!!!

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                        • Gateway Essential / Desktop PC / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                          11.01.2001 03:32
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                          I bought my Gateway Essential 450 in November 1998 for well over £2,000. It was the top of the range at that time, but obviously went out of fashion pretty soon. Before this, I am sorry to say I only had a 486 from Dan, with a meagre 400 MB hard drive. Can you imagine how small that is? I mean my son?s football games were talking up the entire computer?s memory. I realised that it was time to get a new up to date PC, and having researched the topic thoroughly, I went for the Gateway 450. The spec I got is shown below: Speed: Pentium II 450 MHz Video Clock Frequency; 200 MHz RAM: 128 MB (Upgradeable to 384 MB) Hard Drive: 9 GB Speakers: Boston BA 635 Monitor: 19 inch VX 900 Operating System: Windows 98 DVD Drive: 4 speed CD Copier: 48 speed Modem: 56k Telepath Internet Internet: Internet Explorer 4, Outlook ?97, Outlook 4 Virus Checker: McAfee VShield Extras: The PC came with Lotus Office, with all the various programs, such as spreadsheets, word processor, presentation package etc., the Microsoft Office Package (which I am sorry to say is not much use at all), some GCSE CD ROM?s with various information to help the kids with their work, Greetings Workshop (a program for designing posters, birthday cards etc.), Microsoft Autoroute (which is not much use to me, but I suppose it could be if I were to drive into Europe for a holiday, and needed directions). However, what I really wanted was Microsoft Office, and was forced to buy this separately for about £180. Obviously a printer was also needed, and this again set me back by £100, for a very basic Hewlett Packard. So, although it looked a super deal compared to all the rest, it did not actually give me the essentials, and these were an additional cost to me. As always, the system is probably only worth about £400 now, which means the value has fallen by 5 times, disappointing to say the least. However, I am not thinking of
                          buying a new one as yet, because it still serves its purpose, and can just about handle the boys? latest games- although this is mainly due to the high RAM specification I asked for. I basically have no complaints with Gateway. The computer was delivered to my door, at exactly the time they said it was, the assembly instructions were spot on, and their helpline is very useful whenever you have a problem. Overall, it is a superb system, and I would certainly consider using them again when I purchase a new computer. Windows 98 This was superb for all my family?s needs. It is easy to navigate, even for a complete beginner, and everything is clearly laid out. Although I have heard that it had some bugs to start with, (touch wood) I have been all right so far, and Windows 98 is much better than Windows 3.1 (which I had on my previous computer) or Windows 95 (on my work computer). The user interface is much better than previously and everything is explained very clearly, as well as error messages coming up if you make a mistake. Basically, with Windows they have tried to make it as easy for you as possible, which was excellent for me as I had previously not used computers very frequently. The menus are easily navigated, and your whole computer is clearly laid out for you in the My Computer area. If something goes wrong, the help screen normally comes up, and most of the time will try and fix it for you, or at least take you to the place where you can solve the problem. It has still got the DOS function, which I hear they are going to get rid of soon, and this was useful for playing some of the older DOS based games my sons? had. It also enabled me to fix the computer when Windows completely froze. The Computer itself The 450 MHz speed was well suited to my needs, and probably still is (although I am always pestered to get a new computer by my kids!!!) It can run all the latest games, although it is struggling a bit w
                          ith the power of CM 2001/01. I don?t know how long this will continue though, as it often slows down when I am Multi Tasking (Having several programs running at once). The memory is still superb, although would have to be upgraded to 256 MB if I get Windows 2000, as there are so many more features than in 98. The spec is still well above the minimum needed for most applications, although I am steadily eating away at my 9 GB hard drive, which looked big at the time, but is rapidly diminishing. What with all these games installed its not surprising! The graphics card has been great for our needs, and unless your PC is primarily a Gaming one, I would suggest that anything better than the one you get is not worth your time and money. The speakers are of a very high quality, and I would say comparable to my hi-fi, Yes the quality is that good, and I can also play any songs on my computer, which is useful. They are very small, but extremely effective. It has an in built CD and MP3 player, which I thought was excellent and it had an Internet connection with Gateway already to log on. This was excellent for me, as previously I had never used the Internet, but now it consumes a large chunk of my time. Overall Gateway is a superb company to purchase your computer from, and they can certainly be relied upon. The help line is extremely useful, and basically you are guided through a series of questions, and from your answers they try and solve the problem. There is also free technical support via the web site, although the main help line costs a pricey £1 a minute (no doubt I won?t be using that). It is very simple for a beginner to use, although advanced features are available for the experts. Now, I am no computer expert but I know a good deal when I see one!!!

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                          • Revision Tips... / Discussion / 0 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                            08.01.2001 01:48
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                            Exams- everyone hates them, but unfortunately they play quite a big part in everyone's life, whether it be GCSEs, A levels or Degree exams. I like to see exams as a challenge, and in order to meet it, you need to revise effectively. The word is not a lot, but effectively. I will give you some helpful (hopefully) hints on what to Do and what not to do when you get down to some revision. 1) DO set up a revision timetable and try to keep to it 2) DO have regular breaks, maybe for a little walk or bite to eat. Remember, it's is very difficult for humans to concentrate for more than 20 minutes at a time 3) DO make sure that you check the syllabus (if you have one) and make sure that you have covered everything. 4) DO ask your teachers/tutors if you don't understand something. It is no good getting down to some revision, and not understanding what your notes mean. 5) DO make sure that you have all the equipment- pens, pencils, rubber, ruler etc. 6) DO make sure that you work in a quiet room with no distractions. Resist the urge to log onto dooyoo. It's hard but achievable (oh well, I just succumbed to the urge!!!) 7) Do make sure the room is well lit so you can read your notes properly. This will also help you resist the urge to doze off. 8) DO make revision notes, either on prompt cards, or even condense your notes down so they are more easily learned. 9) DO make sure you learn any formulae, unless you will be given a formula sheet with them on in the exam e.g. Maths, Physics in particular. 10) DO highlight important parts of your notes- This will add a bit of colour to your notes, and make it a bit less of a chore to revise. 11) DO make sure you do some practice questions before the exams. This can help to iron out any points you don't know. 12) DON'T just read your notes, and hope everything will go in- this is not constructive, and it is likely that mos
                            t of the things you read will go in one ear and out the other. 13) DON'T just revise for hours on end. This is not constructive, and remember all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!!! 14) DON'T cram the night before the exam. It is unlikely that you will remember anything, and it will make you panic, which is not the best preparation for your exam. 15) DON?T get distracted by friends/family. Stick to your timetable, of which some periods should be for relaxing activities. 16) DON'T revise if you are feeling tired. This is unlikely to help you, and it is better to get a good night's sleep and revise when you are fresh in the morning 17) DON'T just learn what you have done during the lessons. If possible, read around the subject for extra information to impress the examiners. 18) DON'T think of exams as a way for examiners to catch you out. See them as a challenge and revise to rise to the challenge. This should help motivate you during those lonely hours in your room alone revising Overall though, do you best though. Not everyone is going to be an Einstein, and achieve 100% in every exam, but if you so the bets you can then it does not matter what you get, because you have don the best you possibly could have.

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                              06.01.2001 19:11
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                              ****UPDATED 19/1/2001*** The latest details are at the bottom of the opinion.... I am sure that we all want to make the most out of the net, and I am no different. I am constantly looking for ways to make my Internet time more profitable, be it through getting free Internet access, or making money online. I am sorry if this is a bit too long, or if some of the things written are in the wrong category, but the aim of this opinion is to tell dooyoo members how to make their time on the net profitable. Enjoy!!! This opinion is based purely on my own personal experience, so some of the review may be different to your experiences. However, most is factual and therefore I may drone on a bit, but if you?re looking for information to get paid to surf this opinion is heaven.. Free Internet Access ISP?s ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am sorry if this is in the wrong place, but I feel that getting an ISP that allows you free Internet access 24/7 is vital in the search for Internet profitability. I will try to review some of the best ones I have come across for you. The Free Internet This one when I joined was charging you about £50 a year, which I felt was pretty reasonable for my family, considering before this the bill was only around £13 a quarter, for minimal Internet access. Now, it is setting me back the same amount, but access is free 24/7. Unfortunately, the price has now gone up to £90 a year, which is still pretty good considering you can go on the Internet any time you want, at no additional cost. You can do virtually everything you want on the net, except for playing online games, and any other activities which clog up the bandwidth, and the other disadvantage is the 1 hour cut off, which does not bother me too much, but is something that you have to take into mind if you go for this service. Apart from this, I am very impressed with the service provided- They always reply to your e-mails, and their website
                              is also very useful for finding the answers to any questions you have. Another excellent feature of this is that you can download the software straight away, so if you are Impatient like me, then you can be surfing for free within a matter of minutes. I can get connected at about 36,000 bps, which is maybe a bit poor considering my modem can cope with speeds of up to 56,000, but it is fine for me, although I appreciate that it would get very annoying if you were trying to download something. NTL This again provides you with 24/7 access, and you will either pay £10 a month for the privilege, or if you spend £10 on calls a month, then it will cost you absolutely nothing. There is however a two hour cut off time, and it will take you a bit of time to get the CD to load up the service, which can be annoying if you want to get online straight away. However, you can usually get on first time every time, which is great, as it is no fun listening to the busy tone for hours in hours is it!!!! One of the problems is that you have to change your telephone provider to get this service, but this could be an advantage for you, because they offer even cheaper prices than BT, so you can save on your phone bill also. I t also has the annoying habit of unexpectedly cutting you off for no reason, but they say they are trying to improve it. The support is great again, and they always reply to any e-mails sent, with helpful advice, and not technical jargon so you don?t not what on earth they are on about. For the price though it is reasonable, but if you want to stick with BT then sorry this is not for you, but don?t worry there are several more out there which offer just as good Internet connection for the same price. RedHotAnt I did think about getting this one, but I was not really sure about the name, which is why I went for The Free Internet. I would seriously suggest that you give it a look though. They charge you a set up fee of £30,
                              and from then on it is £90 a year for 24/7 access, and you have a 3 hour cut off, which is simply superb for the price you pay. You can get connected at about 44,000 bps just about every time, which is the best out of the ones I have seen so far. They don?t restrict your activities like The Free Internet, and the service is not bad at all. Previously, it was extremely difficult to get online, and it could take up to 6 or 7 times before getting connected, but now this has been sorted out, much to my delight. Unfortunately though I feel that the problems faced earlier have scared customers off, which is not good for them, but great for the existing customers who have very little trouble in getting online. They do cut you off, if you are inactive for 10 minutes, but I think this is for the benefit of us all, because what we do not want is people leaving their computers logged onto the net all day, and clogging up the line for the rest of us. AOL This is the most expensive of the 24/7 Internet access ISP?s I have reviewed but they do have a terrific service, and no cut off time which is refreshing. It will set you back £15 a month, but for this you can leave the computer on the Internet all day if you really want, and if you have any problems then the help line is free, and the people on the end extremely helpful. This is what they are hoping will attract customers, and it probably does, but I still think you have got to use the net an awful lot to justify such an outlay. However, if you want hassle free Internet with any problems solved by a simple phone call then get this, bit remember that there are probably much better value ISP?s out there. Of course, these are not the only ISP?s which offer free Internet access, but I feel that they are the cream of the crop. BT are to soon launch a 24/7 Internet access service for £15 a month in order to try and get some of their customers back from AOL, but I cannot see this doing any real da
                              mage to be honest. Freeserve also offer 24/7 access for £13 a month, but after previous experiences with them, I would suggest that you don?t get Freeserve, They always seem to be having problems, whether it be through lack of response to customers, or realising that they cannot afford to offer the service, and then scrapping it with no compensation for their users. On this point though, there is also a newish service by Connect25 which offers you 24/7 access for £49 a year, and is worth checking out if you do not use the Internet regularly but don?t want to be paying huge BT bills!!! Overall though, I feel that if you are to make the most of the net then it is essential that you have an ISP which offers you free Internet access, otherwise you will end up only covering your costs, which is not the way to achieve Internet profitability!!! Paid for Surf ~~~~~~~~~~~ Right, so know that you are getting online for free, let?s have a look at some ways to make money online. The most obvious way of making money is through getting a Paid for Surf Bar, which pay you simply for viewing adverts on an advert bar which goes on the top/bottom of your screen. They generally do not pay you that much, but they are a nice little earner for doing virtually nothing!!! All Advantage This is the father of all Get Paid to Surf programs, and it was not bad for a while, but certainly not worth getting any more. They used to pay you 30p an hour for a total of 30 hours a month. I went on the Internet as much as possible while they were doing it, but even still, I was not able to make full use of the service, and only used about 20 hours. I promised myself I would make up for it the next month, and they duly took down the hours paid, meaning that you were only paid for a maximum of 15 hours per month, and only 20p an hour. With a look of disgust, I left All Advantage without anything to shown for my efforts, as I did not reach the pay ou
                              t level. I did have friends who have made the pay out amount three times in a row, but this was at the time of 30 hours a month, and therefore you could make the £18 needed in about 3 months. Now though, In think I would struggle to get to the pay out level even after a year, because you are paid so poorly. I think the mistake they made was entering people into their prize draw, where you had very minimal chance of winning, and not surprisingly, all the winners were American!!!!!! I hear that they are now going bust, because they owe their customers so much money, and advertisers are no longer willing to pay money for people to have advertisements on their screen. They have realised that it is no longer worth it for them to advertise with All Advantage. PaysU After my disappointment with AA, I decided to try and find another Pay to Surf Company, and PaysU was next up. I thought that I was going to be getting 30p an hour, for a maximum of 75 hours a month, which I thought was extremely reasonable, and I therefore signed up and downloaded the view bar. I surfed as much as possible for the month, but only managed to achieve 8 hours during this month. I had a quick check in my account, and only had 80p- I was shocked! I then looked at the small print, and it said that your pay out level could only go up 3p at a time, depending on how many adverts you looked at. This meant it would have to take me at least another 6n months to reach 30p An hour. Again outraged, I wrote off to them asking why, and did not receive a reply, which I did not think was very good public relations to say the least. Anyway, needless to say I left straight away, and I would suggest that you take this route as well, because this company is simply not worth your time or effort. Go to World This was yet another Pay to Surf company I signed up with (I was on a role!!!) and yet another disappointment. They had a surf bar and an Instant Messenger, which y
                              ou were paid for using. I think it was again 30p an hour but it never really materialised for me. The bar kept on freezing, so eventually I could not be bothered to use it any longer and deleted it. However, there still seem to be some parts of it on my computer, and I have been unable to get rid of them. Unfortunately for us, I feel that this is more for those living in the US, as it pays in Dollars and they never asked for my address, so I cannot see how they are going to send me anything I make. Anyway, again steer clear, because you may be having that annoying bar on your screen for nothing!! Get Pounds This one claims to pay out £1 an hour, but I will never know because as soon as I downloaded it, my computer crashed, and I was forced to re-install Windows, much to the displeasure of my family! I lost my Internet connection for a month as well, until I eventually worked out how to get it back. I thought this looked too good to be true, at three times the pay out level of other companies, and so it proved. It was not only me to whom this happened, but also to several of my friends, whose hard drives were not even cluttered. I do not know if this has happened to anyone else, but if anyone has got this to work, I would be interested to hear from them. It would be good if it worked, as they pay you for 25 hours a month, which is very good, meaning that if you surf all your hours, you would make a sweet £25 a month, simply for being online- Not bad, but not if it ruins your computer! I really should write to them and complain about this but have not had the courage to do so yet. This certainly has potential, but I am sure they have lost many users due ton this unfortunate sequence of events- I certainly would not encourage anyone to get their view bar. DeskTop Dollars This is another US Company, which pays you to surf the Internet. They pay you, not by the time you have spent online, but by the amount of adverts, you h
                              ave seen during your online period. In order to ensure that you are active, every 20 minutes, a message comes up asking you if you are active, and you only have to click it to continue your payment. I viewed around about 200 adverts in maybe 5 hours I would say, but although they said they would pay, I did not receive any money for my time with this company, and yet again left disappointed. It has the potential to be good again, as it does claim to pay out 75 hours a month, which is good, but if they don?t pay up, as was the case with me then they are surely going to lose members. There are some other Pay to Surf companies out there, but these seem to be the bets of the ones that I have seen. Most of the others do not seem to pay their members, or have gone bankrupt, namely Unique Surf and All Community, which never really materialised. Be Paid is another one, which promises great payment, at $20-£120 an hour, which is unreal, and I have to agree. I was online waiting for adverts for 15 ours, and received just 1 worth 30 cents. What a joke that was, that is like 2 cents an hour, so I don?t know where they get the $20 an hour but from. Overall, I do not think much of Paid to Surf schemes, and I believe that they will soon die out. They had their time about 6 months ago, but now those who advertise have learnt their lesson, and I am sure will not make the same mistakes again. My advice, is don?t bother with these, they seriously cut down on your screen space, and they are not worth all the hassle that comes with them, unfortunately. Paid for Opinions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are several companies in this category of which I belong to, and I will count them down starting from 5. They basically pay you to give your opinions on a variety of different topics, and you are then paid for writing the opinion, and then extra depending on the amount of reads you generate from other members. 5) Themestream This is
                              an information website, which sends you the latest news on a variety of subjects you choose to your e-mail address. However, they also have a section where members can write opinions on the site, and they are then paid depending how many reads their opinions generate. I do not think much of it really, because it is too difficult to work out what you have to do, and the range of categories is pretty poor, in comparison to dooyoo. It is difficult to find out how much you have earned, and even how much you earn, and I have yet to find the ?My Account? page- Yes, that is how badly it is laid out. The colour scheme is also very annoying, at a bright orange, and there are not many sub categories within the main ones, and therefore not much that you can write opinions on. There is not much interaction between members, and people do not seem to read each other?s opinions, which is dreadful. This site is mainly for users to share general information with each other, rather than to make nay money I feel, and I left a bit disappointed, feeling it had been over rated. 4) WrittenByMe I went to this site after a recommendation from the dooyoo Community section. It seems better than Themestream, but it looks extremely hard to make any money from it. You are basically paid in deweys for every opinion that you write, and then for any reads from members it receives. You get 1 Dewey per opinion, and then 1 Dewey for every read you get. You have to make 1000 Deweys in order to make one $30 voucher for www.buy.com, which is not very good value, and sorry to say I cannot ever see me reaching that amount. The website is quite user friendly though, and it is quite clear how it works. It has the last 90 opinions on the front page, which I find superb, as on dooyoo new opinions tend to disappear from the front page after a couple of minutes, or less. It has some interesting topics you can write on, but again a lack of sub categories lets it down. I feel this
                              site is mainly for budding writers, who put short stories and poems onto the site. These are the ones that get the most reads, as compared to descriptive opinions, which is what I tend to submit. They do pay well for any referrals you have, and I have earned more from my referrals than by myself- I am not sure exactly how much you get, as it does not explain clearly. Overall, this could be good for you, but only if you have plans for a career in writing, this could be a significant stepping stone for you. 3) Epinions Another American site, but this is better than the other two. You are paid depending on the reads received for each opinion, and then depending on how many of these you get, your profit share is worked out. If you receive a lot of reads, then you can expect to receive somewhere in the region of $25. I find that people do tend to read your opinions, even if they are not particularly long, and there is a superb community spirit here. I have not really written many on this site, but still managed to get $9 in a month, which is not too bad but I feel that if you want to gain full benefit from this site, you really need to read others opinions, which I have not got around to, what with dooyoo taking up all my time. You get paid more if you write in certain categories, and the payment for reads ranges from $0.03 to $0.01 per read. As I live in England, payment is only possible when I reach $100, which is annoying, and I feel it is going to take me ages to reach this stage. This site has potential though, but you have to make it work for you- oh, and it is mainly a product review site whereas dooyoo gives you a better opportunity to express your opinions on a variety of subjects. I feel this helps them to keep the quality of opinions high, and generally people do not right on products they have never used, which can only be a good thing. The top two, in my opinion, are both English based sites, and this is why I feel they a
                              re better, because they pay in £s. I have already compared these two in another opinion, and I will summarise what I have written there to give you the bare essentials. 2) Ciao This was the first Paid for Opinions site I found, and it was quite impressive to start with. It used to pay you 30p for every opinion written, and then 5p for every read it received. This has now gone down to 10p per opinion and 2p per read. The website has recently improved, and it now looks quite impressive. You still do not get that many reads for your opinions, but this is improving all the time. You can also earn yourself £15 if you write a Premier Opinion and the last 20 opinions are shown on the front page. The account page is well laid out, and you can see exactly where you earned everything in your account, whether it be through writing opinions, reads or earnings from your referrals. They also have a new section showing Ciao?s most wanted, and if you get into this category I think you receive £10, if you got in during the Christmas period. I am not sure if they actually pay their members, all I can say is that I have not received anything yet, but I would be a bit wary at giving over bank details, with an account with a lot of money in it. This was quite a good opinion site, but as you are here at dooyoo, I suggest you go nowhere. 1) Dooyoo Therefore, dooyoo comes in first position, and I don?t think many people can have any argument with that. Compared to all the others, they are on a different planet. They pay you 10p per opinion, 5p every time another member reads it, and then £1 if you receive a Premier opinion or if you get into the Hall of Fame. The website is superbly designed and it never gets boring. The Community spirit is also great and this is what separates dooyoo from the others. You get paid when you reach £20 by a voucher, or £50 in cash (like you didn?t know that!!!). Overall, this is clearly the best of all the opinio
                              n sites, and I am sure you don?t need me to tell you that- Just enjoy it!!! Paid for e-mail ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Although I know there are several companies out there that pay you for sending advertising e-mails, there is only really one worth writing about, and that is mailround. Mailround is a program, which puts stamps on your in coming and outgoing e-emails, no matter how many you send. The great thing about it is that you are in control of your earnings, whereas on other sites like this, the number of e-mails you are sent limits the amount you earn. On mailround, you are placed into a category at the end of each month, depending on the amount of e-mails sent, received and the amount of stamps clicked on. You will be placed in one of the following categories: Bronze- £4 About 60% of users achieve this status Silver- £6 About 30% of users achieve this status Gold- £8 About 10% of users achieve this status Platinum- £40 This status is reserved for only the top e-mailers of the month. It has the potential to earn you quite a bit of money, but you have got to be a very heavy user to make it worthwhile. I achieved Silver in the last month, and I sent about 75 emails, which I am sure any of you could beat. A piece of advice if you join this is to click any stamps on in coming emails and send emails to as wide a range of people as you can, without spamming. You can get a voucher when you reach £10, from a wide variety of stores, or wait until you reach £50 and be sent a cheque (this may take you some time though I expect). Within three months though, as long as you are an active user, you will get at least one £10 voucher, which is pretty good value without breaking the bank. Just for the record tough, the main companies, which send you e-mails from advertisers, are as follows: Send More Info Yo Yo Mail All Community Obviously there are others, but I do not feel they a
                              re worth getting because the companies decide how many you are sent, and unfortunately, those you receive are minimal. Other Ways to get Paid ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you have got a website, then I first of all suggest that you put the dooyoo buttons on the site, so that if anyone joins dooyoo through your site, then you become their referrals, meaning that you make £1 if they write 10 opinions. You can also get buttons for the various Pay to Surf companies, and this could significantly help to improve your earnings on these sites, which are poor at the moment. Tombola I only recently joined this, and I have really enjoyed playing it, although I am yet to win. You basically play a range of games on the website, from a passport game where you have to match six countries out of 16, to a scratch card where you have to get 3 symbols the same. It also has the Lycos fetch game, where you need to get 4 symbols in a row in order tom win. They also have a syndicates set up for the lottery, although this is the least likely to earn you any money. I have yet to win anything from tombola, but I know people who have and have been paid. If you win, you can win up to about £5,000 do it could be worth your while. But then again it is complete luck if you win, and your earnings are not in your own hands. MP3 Downloads ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Although downloading Mp3?s will not make you money, I still believe that downloading MP3s from the Internet is a profitable way of spending your Internet time. Basically, what happens is that users share their songs with other users via a website, the main two being Napster and Audio Galaxy. As you may know, Napster have come under fire recently, and accused of breaking copyright rules, but have so far defended themselves, saying the users are the ones violating copyright, and that the artists are actually becoming better known because of their music being exchanged on this
                              website. I have been a member of both, and I think that Audio Galaxy downloads slightly faster than Napster does, which may be due to the fact that it has less users. However, Napster has an in built MP3 player, meaning that you can line up your favourite songs and it will play them for you in the order. You can access this when you are online or offline. On Audio Galaxy, the in built MP3 player on your computer is used, and if you are not online you have to scrounge around your hard drive to find where you saved your songs to play them. Maybe these will not earn you loads of money, but they will save you money from the records that you may have then bought from the shops. If you only want one song, it may cost you £4 for the single, but only 20 minutes to download it, which is clearly the better option. Napster is clearly the more popular of the two, with 20 million users, mainly from USA, but Audio Galaxy is catching up fast and if Napster is forced to close then we have a ready-made replacement. Just remember, make the most of the free music while you can! I hope that these have been of use to you, and I will endeavour tom update this opinion as I discover new ways to earn money on the Internet. Just remember that the best way to get rich on the internet is to set up your own business online, and that none of these companies are likely to make you rich big time. You may not agree with everything I have written, and everyone has their own opinion, but I have tried to give a comprehensive guide of the best way to make your time on the net as profitable as possible. As I say, I am sorry if some of this is in the wrong place, but I felt that everything written is necessary to make the net profitable for you!!!!!! Any suggestions as to any I have maybe missed out are welcome! In addition, any comments on this opinion, and this topic in general are welcome! Thanks ****UPDATED 19/1/2001***
                              .....Just to update this opinion to make it more useful, RedHotAnt has now gone bust, and have withdrawn their 24/7 access. Their customers are not going to be given any compensation unfortunately, and have only received half of what they have paid for. It was £130 for the year, so some people are going to be seriously out of pocket, and they cannot do anyhting about it. Overall, a very sad state of affairs.

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