This year, as of late January, eBay, the widely popular online auction site, has been actively enforcing a new policy of banning the sale of virtual property by removing any auction listings selling virtual merchandise from online games. The ban includes not only video game accounts and characters but also in-game currency, weapons, and any other virtual items. Interestingly enough, this new policy does not apply to the virtual world of Second Life.
The Process of Buying and Selling Virtual Property on eBay
Prior to the ban, the selling of virtual game goods on eBay was multi-million dollar market. Sellers would list auctions for online game accounts, characters, and/or items with descriptions of what they were selling, method of delivery, and usually a picture. When selling accounts, the seller, upon receiving payment from the winning bidder, would usually e-mail the winning bidder with a username and password to the game account they were selling. When selling virtual items and not whole accounts, the seller would either create a “mule” account and send the winning bidder the username and password or meet the winning bidder in the game and deliver the item using an in-game trading system.
Why Did eBay Ban the Sale of Virtual Goods?
This new policy was allegedly instituted to avoid complex legal issues that are associated with virtual property. Selling accounts and property is usually illegal according to the EULA (End User License Agreement) and terms of service of most online games. By no longer allowing users to buy and sell virtual property on their site, eBay may have avoided future legal action against them.
Besides that, another motive for eBay to ban the sale of virtual property is to reduce time spent dealing with customers who were misled or ripped off over a virtual property auction. Unlike physical goods, whose shipments can be tracked and confirmed, there is no effective way to track the delivery of virtual items of game accounts. Naturally, this means that bidders run the risk of being victims of fraud. eBay had received several complaints about sellers accepting payment for virtual property and then never delivering the goods.
The Exception to the New Policy: Second Life
The selling of virtual property from all online games has been banned under eBay’s new policy with the exception of one: Second Life. Second life is an online community that allows you to script and create your own buildings, objects, etc. You can even you’re your own business in this online community. Several Second Life players make part time to full time income from their Second Life Business. eBay has not banned the selling of virtual property from Second Life likely because it is not considered a game by many.
The Pros and Cons of Banning Virtual Property Auctions
The positive aspects of eBay’s decision to ban the sale of virtual goods is already discussed in the above two paragraphs. By not allowing virtual property auctions, eBay avoids future legal complications and reduces the amount of time their customer service must spend dealing with consumers who have been defrauded.
However, this policy also has a downside. As mentioned earlier, the sale of virtual property on eBay was a multi-million dollar market. eBay profits from sales their users make by charging varying listing fees (dependent upon starting price, amount of pictures, listing features, etc.) as well as taking a percentage of the final sale value. By banning the sale of virtual game items, eBay will lose the profit it was receiving from the sale of these items. In addition to this, eBay’s new policy will likely cause many sellers to take their business elsewhere.
eBay’s new policy may have cost them the revenue gained from virtual property sales commissions but in the long run it was probably good idea. They no longer have to worry about (as many) disgruntled customers or potential legal action from the gaming industry.
Too often we don’t take the time to consider home security precautions until it is too late. This is unfortunate, because not only are your possessions at risk, but you and your family could be at risk as well. While many of us take the stance that it won’t happen to us or that our community is safe from such potential hazards, such things should not be left to chance. There are certain steps, many of them simple, that you can take to improve home security and reduce the chances that your home will be targeted for a break in.
By removing large bushes, trees and other obstructions from around your home, you eliminate hiding places for burglars. Such items placed close to the home can provide the perfect staging points for prospective entrants and give them cover while they case your home or work to open a window or door.
Most criminals will attempt to avoid anything that brings attention to their illegal activities. Therefore, ensuring the outside of your home is well lit, can act as a strong deterrent to anyone looking to break in. A light set to a timer to come on when it is dark or a motion detecting light can be cheap and relatively easy ways to improve your home security. It can also help to leave a light or lights on inside your home when you are out to give the impression that someone is at home.
While certain alarm systems can be costly, they are strong deterrents for those attempting to enter your home illegally. Monitored systems through a security service are the most costly. Unmonitored systems are cheaper but probably won’t bring assistance from local police or security services. If you can’t afford such a system, consider placing a system service or alarm sticker on windows or doors. Most potential burglars will not know if these stickers are decoys and won’t take the chance to find out.
The small stuff
Even little things can make a big difference when it comes to home security. Locking doors and windows even when you are at home, closing drapes, not letting mail and fliers pile up or leaving trashcans by the street for extended periods can reduce the chances of a break in.
Get to know your neighbors. Join a community watch program. If you have trustworthy neighbors, let them know when you are going out of town for extended periods, have them keep an eye on the place, and make sure you stop your mail or have someone pick it up while you are away.
What would you do if someone broke into your home and you were there? Have you ever considered it? If so, have you actually developed a plan of action for you and/or your family? Having an action plan in the event of a break in can be the best way to protect you and your loved one’s home security.
So, it’s been about 2 years now since Dungeons amp; Dragons 4th Edition was released. Now, I played a couple of games when 3.5 was the big thing, but this only amounted to two game sessions. This was while I was in college, about 3 years ago – I forgot everything about how to play. Coming into 4th Edition, then, was as if I had never played. And oddly enough, while it has its fans and plenty of advice on using which class and what race, there is little to no info for new players.
The game is set up around a team of 5 player characters and a Dungeon Master. The Dungeon Master, or DM, is in charge of making sure the game stays on track, playing any monsters the players encounter, and settling conflicts whenever possible. Players can volunteer to play as NPC’s (non-player characters), or the DM can play them. The player’s main job, though, is to play the role of their character.
Characters are made by choosing a race and a class. Most of the available races are pretty standard to fantasy – elves, dwarves, gnomes, and so on – while others are more exotic. While there are several classes to choose from, each one fills one or more roles that the team needs to survive. A good team has at least one each of a Leader (really a healer), Controller (magic user), Defender (melee fighter), and Striker (ranged fighter). Leaders are really there to heal the team, and can double as Defenders if they have to, but mostly are there for support. Leaders are also rarely the ones to lead, with Defenders or Controllers more often calling the shots.
The game assumes you use gridded game maps and miniatures or tokens to represent your characters. It’s not completely necessary, but it saves a lot of mental work on how your characters are located on the map. This makes combat a lot easier, and frankly more fun. Having something to look at helps add to the effect, and while it might not be as spectacular of the animated violence of video RPG’s, it’s a fair bit better than just using your imagination.
Speaking of, people who play video RPG’s, and especially the MMO type, will probably settle into the game easier than non-gamers. The game structure is built like one, with abilities having range, area of effect, and recharge times comparable to such games. That’s not to say that people non-gamers won’t find D D; fun, just that it might take longer to get in to. Old school D D; player might need some time to adjust.
This may all seem overwhelming, and there’s far too much material to cover for a complete review. However, Wizards will be releasing an “Essentials” line in late September, with simpler rules that are still compatible with existing product. So for all you Dungeon Masters out there looking for a way to bring in new players, 4th edition might be just what you’re looking for.
Sunshine, clean sand, waves, people tanning and having fun-that’s the typical beach atmosphere. What about swimming bans, trash strewn in the sand, empty bottles lying about, and excess bacteria and E.coli levels in the water? Well the later has just described many of the problematic conditions at Chicago beaches.
At some of the beaches in Chicago, swimming is not even permitted due to extremely high levels of bacteria in the water. These levels pose a serious risk of illness to anyone who swims in the water. The beaches with such high bacteria levels in the water have been red flagged, thus banning swimmers from going in. In this summer heat wave, most people are looking for a fun place to cool off. Naturally, you would think the beach would be the perfect spot but no one wants to go somewhere that can be hazardous to their health or the health of those around.
The Chicago Park District says they are trying to fight E.coli levels in Lake Michigan but some of it is beyond their control. In addition to rainfall, the water is polluted by sea gull waste, trash people throw in, and sewage waste from septic systems and pet wastes. That is disgusting to even think about and even more disgusting if you’re in the water along one of the high bacteria beaches. Even the beaches with moderate levels of bacteria are not safe for everyone. People are advised to keep their babies, small children, the elderly, and those susceptible to illness out of the water.
Some avid beach goers claim they don’t mind the bacteria levels in the water and would still swim in it. But one thing they may not know is that even if they aren’t ingesting any of the water by accidentally swallowing it, the water can get into their systems through their ears when they are submerged. And for most people, regardless of how hard you try not to swallow any water, you will still ingest some of it. Suppose you have an open cut or wound that hasn’t completely healed and you submerge yourself in bacteria infested water; that bacteria is getting into your system.
So what are people to do to keep cool during the scorching summer season? Well you may decide on a water park to travel too or go to a park swimming pool instead. There will be bacteria in either place due to the number of people that frequent these cool off spots but at least it is safer than a banned beach. The best bet is for those who have their own private swimming pools or those who travel somewhere with beautiful and clean beaches where the water is safe to swim. Just a heads up to those who live in Chicago or anyone planning to visit one of Chicago’s beaches, be aware of which beaches have been flagged and how high the levels of bacteria are. You can check the swimming conditions on Chicago’s beaches on the Chicago Park Districts website www.cpdit.com/resources/beaches.
Talking about cleaning there are a few people who are obsessed with cleaning they have a bit of OCD with cleaning, they need things to be prima and proper without any dirt and glitch in it. This is how things work or function in the minds of few people, there are many who want to keep their surrounding clean but are unable to do so due to certain reasons. For people and issues like these we have a vacuum cleaner that is hand held and can be used with a battery. Yes we are talking about dyson v10 portable vacuum cleaner. They can be moved from places to places without much effort and work amazingly.
How good vacuum cleaners work
Vacuum cleaners are easy and simple to use but are very complex in design, they require all type of technology to make them work in a better way, people’s spending capacity is increasing so is their demand for superior product is also increasing, hence they put everything in it to make it that perfect piece for their customers. These vacuum cleaners are easy and light weight, they are easy to move, use and bend in any direction. It is safe to say they are very safe around kids too.
How do they work?
The use of a hand held vacuum cleaner is very easy, one just has to keep the device charged up and when the time comes they can unplug it and switch on the button and get started with their cleaning. They work normally like a traditional vacuum cleaner but the only difference lies in the cord and charging options provided by the companies, dyson v10 is one of the finest in this addition and works beautifully, it is a must buy for many of the households.