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Staying Computer Safe while Searching for Freebies on the Net Who doesn’t love the idea of getting something for nothing? Free stuff can bring a smile to anyone’s face, and the Internet is destination number one when you are looking for cash in on a few freebies. The downside of free stuff online is that if you aren’t careful, the free item could end up causing plenty of headaches and heartaches, not to mention a lot of cold, hard cash. If you want to score with free stuff online, make safety your number one priority by following these tips. First and foremost, treat your personal information like its cash. That might sound a little dramatic, but anyone who manages to steal your identity online is after one thing, and one thing only, your money and any addition money they can grab by cashing in on your credit. Protecting your name, address, credit card number, bank account number, phone number, social security number, and so on and so forth when you are registering for free offers is the first step to making sure you don’t get hustled when you’re just trying to enjoy a good freebie. That means that if you are asked for some personal information that you don’t feel comfortable handing out, let the freebie go. Likewise, make sure the site from which you are getting your free stuff has a privacy policy and that you know it, understand it, and can live with it. Speaking of that site that is handing out the free goods: just who are these people? If you were walking down the street and a shady looking person said they would give you a free DVD player if you followed them, chances are you would run the other way. Online, it is hard to tell the legitimate people from the people looking at you like a free lunch, but there are a few red flags you can look out for. Does the website look like it was thrown up in about 5 minutes, full of clip art and bad spelling? Is it hard to find information about where the website is registered, or where the business the website is supposedly promoting is registered? If the website purports to be affiliated with a certain brand you know, does it really look like it is, or does the logo look different/colors look off? If you can’t get a reasonable feel for who are dealing with online, don’t deal with them. Red flag number one? Asking for too much personal info should send you running. Another way to protect yourself is to build a virtual fortress around your computer. The net is filled with people who know how to walk right into your virtual home – your computer – and flip through everything you have on there, taking whatever they want. Many of these kinds of hackers draw you in by creating phony freebie websites. The way to keep them out is to keep your computer on lockdown. Make sure your firewall is stronger than you think it needs to be, and make sure it is always updated. Also, make sure you have antivirus software on the patrol for you and that you keep this software updated as well. Last but not least, keep those passwords in the vault, and make sure they are extra strong. No freebie website has any reason to ask you about the passwords for your accounts so don’t give them away – and don’t give them to anyone else online for that matter. Also, if you’re using your birthday or child’s name as password, don’t. Sure, it isn’t as easy to remember, but your password should be a random word and contain a collection of numbers and symbols as well. This will give you the extra layer of protection to make sure your online house is in order when you cash in on the freebies.

Assistance on Filling Out those Online Forms for the Free Stuff So, you’ve found a great freebie online, or a free trial of some service you have been wondering about, but the form you have to fill out has left you scratching your head. Sometimes the paperwork involved in getting some free stuff can seem a bit like applying for a mortgage or filling out your life insurance policy, and in fact, many people decide the freebie isn’t worth it after all when they’re facing down an intimidating form to fill out. The good news is that you don’t have to miss out on the free stuff just because the form leaves you a little perplexed. This guide will walk you through filling out these online applications, even if this is your first trip around the Internet. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be filling out these forms in no time at all. First things first: once you have the form open on the screen in front of you, you have to move your mouse so that the cursor sits in the very first empty space on the form, and then click the mouse once. Some forms will automatically place your cursor there when you open them, but if you are not sure, moving the mouse there and clicking won’t hurt anything at all. All you have to do now is start typing, filling in the information they ask for in that field. Filling out the form the entire form is merely a repetition of this process. Of course, you have to be able to move between the fields easily so you can fill in the rest of the form. On some online forms, the cursor will move automatically when you have finished filling in a field, which makes life easy on you, but others do not. To manually move between fields, all you have to do is either hit the “tab” key on your keyboard or use your mouse to move the cursor to the next field, just like you did to start typing in the first field. Hitting “enter” may seem like a natural thing to do, and while it can work on some forms, other forms will submit themselves when you hit enter, meaning you will have submitted a blank form. It is best to stick to “tab” or your mouse to be on the safe side. This technique should allow you to navigate a freebie form fairly easily. There are a few other things you may see on a form that you have to know how to handle. You may be asked to “check” a box or indicate in a little circle (called a radio button) that you accept the company’s privacy policy or some other thing. To do this, all you have to do is move your cursor over the box or circle and click – the check or the dot will then appear. This can also be handy when forms ask for a billing address and a shipping address - if they are the same, you can tick a box stating so and avoid having to type the same thing twice. If a form has several pages, be careful to save your changes for every page as you move along. Usually there will be a button to click at the bottom of the page that allows you to save the work you have done. Especially long forms usually have some kind of side navigation that lets you skip around from section to section instead of moving through the form systematically – this can be helpful if you need to find some info for one section, but want to take care of all of the other work first. Most forms are reasonably user friendly and contain info to walk you through the process. If you get stuck, look for a help icon on the page – this info should clear up any questions you may have.

Copyright Law Plagiarism Plagiarism Is Simply Unethical Anyone who is a writer is concerned with plagiarism. Copyright Plagiarism Laws protects copyright holders from having their works plagiarized. Many people think it is ironic that the word plagiarism derives from “kidnapper” in Latin. However, it is true. If a person uses another person’s words without permission, they have indeed stolen or kidnapped something that was owned by another and is in violation of copyright law. Plagiarism is a very bad word in the writing world. Crediting the author of the work will not keep someone immune from being in violation of copyright law. Plagiarism is plagiarism, even if the author is cited if the author did not give permission for the work to be used. One of the most common areas that copyright law plagiarism is violated is in the academic world. Many students will copy and paste the information they need for their research papers and essays straight off the Internet and turn it in to their professors. However, this type of cheating is easily detected now with special programs that professors can use. Plagiarism is unethical, not only in the writing world, but in the academic world, as well. Did you know that you could plagiarism a work but not be in violation of the copyright? Likewise, you can be in violation of a copyright and not have been plagiarizing. It is really not that hard to understand. Let’s say you are using Abraham Lincoln’s exact words in a paper and you did not cite him as the source or give him credit. Well, Lincoln’s words aren’t copyrighted because they are in the public domain. But, you did plagiarize because you tried to pass off his words as your own. Alternatively, if you use a picture in a book and you did not gain permission to use the book, you have violated copyright law because you did not source the artist and you did not get permission from the artist to use the picture. If you are in school, the best way you can get around committing plagiarism is to simply list your sources. If you use someone’s word, list it in an endnote or in a footnote. List the resource you found it in the bibliography. Another way around copyright law plagiarism violations is to take notes when you are reading. Take notes in your own words and put the resource away. Write your paper from your own words. No one wants to be singled out for plagiarism, especially a student who is concerned about their reputation at school and writers who need to keep their credibility in good standing. With today’s technological advances, it is not too hard to pinpoint plagiarized work. Even webmasters who run websites are on to the plagiarism crowd. They can run their entire sites through a special program to see if their content has been stolen and duplicated elsewhere on the Internet. If you are dealing in the written word, either academically or as a profession, it is a good idea that you only use your own words. It was probably easier to get away with plagiarism 100 years ago, but it is not that easy today. The changes are very high that if you are caught violating copyright law plagiarism laws you will be caught. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can cost you a bundle in a lawsuit.

Copyright music expiration For Many Copyright Music Expiration is a Luxury for Worry If you copyright music, expiration isn't something you have to worry about, at least not in your lifetime. The music that you've written is copyrighted the moment you've put it onto paper or recorded it being played. The reason you don't have to worry about expiration is because the music is protected until 70 years after the death of the author. In the case of your music, that author would be you. This rule about copyright music expiration was first put into place so that the families and heirs of an author could still earn royalties even after his or her death. Ultimately this means that if you've taken the steps to copyright your music and have registered the copyright then your music will be protected throughout your lifetime until 70 years after you or the last surviving author (assuming a collaboration) are no longer living. Copyright music expiration is not something you should make a primary concern unless you are having issues of someone respecting and/or honoring your copyright at the moment. You should take comfort in the fact that as long as you are alive you are the only one who can assign your copyright to another person and as long as you haven't given up your ownership of the music it still belongs to you. This is different however if your copyrighted music was work made for hire. If that is the case then you cannot have ownership of the music, as it never legally belonged to you no matter what form it was in when it changed hands. Works made for hire have different copyright music expiration than those that were owned by the creator. With works made for hire, the copyrights are in effect for 95 years from the original publication date or for 120 years from the creation of the work whichever of the two is shorter. For most beginning musician’s copyright music expiration date isn't as important as getting that first gig or earning that first dollar as a result of the music he or she writes and/or plays. It's about art for many and about survival for others. The latter are quite often the ones that are taken advantage of. These are the authors who don't protect themselves as they should and end up failing to register their music because the idea of buying food seemed more pertinent to survival at the moment. This is often the case, particularly among street musicians and it's something that was becoming a growing problem immediately after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans taking with it many of the homes of starving musicians along with many pieces of music that will never become copyright music, expiration or not, those works are gone forever except in the mind of their creators. who could barely scrape together the money to pay $100 a month for a hovel they shared with 6 or 7 other people in order to keep expenses down and avoid living on the streets. The building not only of homes for those musicians displaced as a result of Katrina's devastation is wonderful but even more than that is the fact that there are organizations that are dedicated to creating a community for these musicians so that maybe many of the struggling artists won't be taken advantage of or have to face the decision to register their music in order to protect and copyright music expiration for their future heirs or to risk loosing their claim over the music they wrote in order to eat or pay the rent or buy groceries.