How to Fix Red Ring of Death – Detailed Steps to Fix Red Ring of Death Error in Xbox 360

The red ring of death error occurs to at least one-fifth of Xbox 360 users. You will probably panic if this happens to you for the first time. Seeing red lights flashing on your console is very alarming. There is no reason to be scared though because this seemingly daunting problem is actually easy to fix.

At first, you might doubt yourself in repairing the Xbox 360 and you will send your broken console to a service center to fix red ring of death error. There is no problem with this for as long as you are willing to wait a few weeks to claim your console, and also willing to pay as much as $ 150 for repair.

However, before you decide on this, also look for other means to fix red ring of death by yourself. These options will definitely be less expensive and less time consuming. The internet is ample with guides on how to repair Xbox 360 errors yourself. Just be careful and make sure that it was written by an expert, and not by an ordinary gamer who might only be suggesting repair tips that will further damage your console.

Red ring of death is due to overheating most of the time. The electronic components inside break down and do not function properly. In many cases, you will be required to remove the casing to fix the hardware. You will find inside the GPU or graphics processing unit that is seen on top of the motherboard. You might notice that the soldiers are loose causing the GPU to move. This constant friction it creates causes overheating. So, what you have to do basically is to fix the soldiers.

Before you try this, make sure the console is turned off and unplugged. Remove the x-clamps that hold the GPU and motherboard together. With utmost care, fix the soldiers while making sure you do not break the electronic components. These are small parts that require a light touch only.

Check if everything is in order before you screw back the casing. If you did it right, your Xbox 360 will work okay again. In the future, avoid having to fix red ring of death again by playing in moderation to prevent overheating.

Why is the FHI Flat Iron Recommended by Top Stylists?

If you have been searching for a new flat iron and wondered which one is 'really' the best out on the market, then there is no need to look any further than the FHI flat irons. The FHI Heat Industry has really earned the # 1 spot by the majority of top hair stylists from literally all over the world for creating the most innovative highest quality of flat irons to date. FHI is now far ahead of the other players like Farouk CHI, T3, and the Sedu hair styling product lines.

The only truly 'Ionic' professional flat irons have been created by the FHI Heat Industry. All hair styling products manufactured by FHI adheres to the highest quality standards, embedded with state of art technological advances. Their skilled research team teamed up Nano Fuzeion technology to bring you the safest flat iron in the market today. FHI has also incorporated Tourmaline technology for hair straightening and styling perfection, in their latest hair tool products.

Tourmaline is a silicate crystal that has a special feature of producing an amazing amount of negative ions. Tourmaline has been shown to produce up to 20 times more negative ions than just ceramic hair tool products alone. Other companies that produce ceramic hair tools without the Tourmaline can not touch the high quality of hair tool products that FHI currently produces. The importance of the extra ions can not be denied, because the negative ions lock in vital moisture by sealing the hair cuticles. By locking in the extra moisture, the frizzes are diminished, and your hair becomes much healthier and shinier. This positively results in hair that will stay straightened longer during your day or night.

When looking at FHI hair tool products closer, it is very easy to see why the many of the best top stylists only use and recommend FHI hair tool products. One of the best flat iron professional models is the FHI Heat Technique Professional Flat Iron. This flat iron uses 1 inch ceramic Tourmaline plates and an advanced PTC heater that heaters up within only seconds. The FHI Flat Iron also has an Automatic Heat Sense Recovery System to keep consistently constant temperature in the plates. The best professional hair stylists know that this is vital for getting the best hair straightening results.

Another flat iron loved by the professionals is the FHI 302 RVI 1 inch inch Ionic Ceramic Iron. Claimed by FHI to be the only real IONIC professional hair flat iron out on the market, this model has plates that are 1 inch inch and a broad heat range that can be set with a variable temperature control dial. This is a vital feature that is rarely found in even the most expensive and well-known flat iron brands out on the market.

FHI also has several other flat iron models that are of the highest quality and only vary in plate sizes. FHI Flat Irons are all lightweight, easy to use, and come with the latest ionic and heat controlled technological advances. Along with the many professional hair stylists recommendations of all FHI hair tools, they are also given the # 1 rating by the FHI consumers for their professional hair tool products. Your Hair Tools Professionals! Best Price Guarantee, 30 Day No Hassle Return Policy, and Free Shipping.

Palm Centro Review

Designed for the CEO of the household or the young executive, the Centro features an entirely new form factor at an entirely new price point. Billed as $ 99.99, the new Palm Centro comes in under $ 100 as you'll see advertised in various marketing channels. This price is dependent upon signing a 2-year agreement and a supporting $ 25 data plan. Compared with Verizon and AT & T, Sprint's data pricing is still reliably cheap compared to the competition.

Pocketable Centro

The Centro may not be as thin as other smartphones such as the Moto Q, but it is most definitely smaller. The Centro is flat out pocketable and it's best friend might be the front pocket of your favorite jeans. It also feels light and this can be partially attributed to the smaller battery and plastic shell casing. Carryovers from the Treo smartphone include the ringer switch at the top of the phone allowing you to easily switch the ringer to vibrate mode and vice versa. The buttons on the front of the Centro have the familiar Power / End call and answer call buttons. Neslted in the middle of the device are buttons for phone, calendar, Email / Messaging and Home (Applications). The 5-way navigator is a departure from previous designs. The rim that allows for 4-way selection appears to be too thin, but I had no issue navigating as it's actually raised from the center button.

The good

QWERTY keyboard, Palm OS easy to use, small, touchscreen.

The bad

No 3.5mm headphone socket, no Wi-Fi, no 3G, no Bluetooth 2.0, no Java and no flash for the 1.3 megapixel camera


The Palm Centro is not a hip smartphone for the "youth" market as promised.

Starting an Online Business – Pros and Cons

Starting an online business isn’t any better or worse than opening a traditional storefront, but it is different.

While traditional stores require fairly large initial investments for rent, utilities, employees, merchandise and advertising, online businesses require similar start-ups costs that include website design, server fees, marketing, and merchandise.

One major benefit to opening an online business is the speed in which you can open your doors to the world. An online business can be up and running virtually overnight, especially if you use a full service server that makes website templates and other business essentials such as advertising, marketing, shipping and management tools available.

Even choosing a domain name can take minutes online compared to waiting weeks for a ficticous name certificate from your state government for a traditional business name.

When you run a business online, your customers never have to know how big (or small) your company really is, and for many the flexibility of working during off hours is a major advantage. With no foot traffic needing to see your store’s merchandise, you can also save thousands by keeping inventory at a minimum.

With so many benefits to running an online business, what are some things to watch out for? Advertising, for one thing. You can’t grow a business if no one knows you exist. While you may have a few similar stores to compete against in a traditional mall setting, your online store must compete with thousands all over the world. Making yours stand out among the rest can take some ingenuity and know-how. It’s important to take the time to learn how to make your online business pop up first on search engines such as Google and yahoo in order to survive – and grow.

Choosing a great server right from the start is also essential. Your server is your business’s lifeline. If it goes down, everything regarding your business – from your website and email to order taking and delivery services – comes to a screeching halt! If this happens too often your existing customers will look elsewhere for service.

In addition, it can be very difficult to change servers once you have become established, so it’s important to choose carefully from the beginning and spend whatever is necessary to get the service you need. This is not an area to pinch pennies!

If, however, you find a responsible server that offers enough services to grow along with your budding company, it can take much of the daily business burden off of your shoulders as manager and owner.

Regardless of the type of online business you are creating, remember these simple steps to success:

-Find a server with a good track record and the ability to grow with your business.

-Find out how to make your business stand out in various search engines.

-Learn how to find and maintain customers on the worldwide web.

-Llearn the unique marketing strategies reserved for online businesses.

Cosmic Ceilings – A Unique Gift For a Child

One of the great things about a Cosmic Ceiling is that it is such an unusual and unique gift.

In a world where kids are presented with an array of gadgets and gizmos it is refreshing to know that there are still things out there that can provide immunity pleasure for years to come yet at the same time being something that is unique and personal to the individual .

A Cosmic Ceiling is hand-painted and can be personalized with a child's birth constellation or even have the stars mapped out on the exact date that they were born.

Each ceiling will have it's own unique characteristics so that no two ceilings will be the same.

The paintings will last for years to come so until the ceiling is ready for re-decoration the effects will always be seen. Even then, if only 1 coat of standard emulsion is applied over the Cosmic Ceiling to freshen it up, the quality of the cosmic paints used will still mean that the effects will remain visible. It is quite feasible for the effects to be visible in 20/30 years time if they have not been covered up by layers of paint.

A Cosmic Ceiling is also one of the best gifts for creating a surprise!

Most customers will have the ceiling created while their child is at nursery or school. A ceiling is usually created in around 2 to 4 hours so it can be completed in plenty of time before they return home. The great thing is that during the daytime or whilst the normal electric light is on in the room the effects will not be seen so it is possible that they will still have no idea that anything has been done on their bedroom ceiling.

As soon as the room becomes dark however – WOW!

They will be starring up at an array of stars and the Milky Way. Sometimes even a comet, shooting stars, constellations …….. planets.

It may have also been themed to a particular favorite of the child. Maybe Star Wars, fairies or TV characters?

A Cosmic Ceiling creates a wonderful relaxing environment and can help children who have difficulty in sleeping at night to have a restful nights sleep.

They are not just for children either. Many adults are now having them created in their own rooms particularly if they have had one done initially for their child. They will have usually spent a few days after their completion lying on the floor of their child's bedroom at night staring up at the newly completed ceiling and will want one of their own eventually.

They are also proving very popular with children suffering from autism and that will form the subject of a separate article.

Laminate Flooring Does not Have to Be Ugly

I can not help it. When I hear the term laminate flooring I think of a 1970s kitchen or laundry room that has aged yellow laminate floors in an ugly square or diamond pattern. Even though that term no longer means anything so hideous, that's what I think of every time.

Actually, I have laminate floors in my house. In my laundry room we have a gray laminate in that standard square pattern, but it's not ugly. It was a reminder that we got at Menards for $ 15 and it fit perfectly in our laundry room. I love to tell people that I have a $ 15 floor.

In the kitchen we have very nice laminate wood floors. This means it looks like wood, but it is the fake stuff that is quickly snapped together in large panels and then trimmed out at the edges. It's very nice and we had dozens of colors and grains to choose from. Armstrong is one of the most popular brands of laminate wood floors. Our may actually be an off brand, but even that is good. It was very easy to install. My husband did it in a single day. It floats on a padded subfloor and sits away from the walls by about a quarter inch. Then to cover the gaps we put in quarter round baseboards. The result is a very nice floor for very little money compared to real wood and no installation cost since we did it ourselves. We did glue the panels together since the kitchen is a room that gets a lot of moisture on the floors, mostly from spills. We did not want that water to get under the floor and rot from the bottom so we glued the pieces as well as snapping them together.

Everyone tells me how great the kitchen looks. The floor is a slightly lighter color than the cabinets, all are a medium tone. It looks and feels warm and inviting.

How to Show an Interviewer You Learn Quickly

Every job has a learning curve. Not only do workers have to learn how to do a job when they get it, they also have to be able to pick up new skills while on the job and adapt to changes in responsibilities. Employers want to know that their potential employees will be able to pick up new skills and adjust to their new job quickly. Read on to find out how to show an interviewer that you have this capability.

The first thing you need is an example of when you picked up a skill quickly. Think of a time when you were able to learn to do a new task faster than you were expected to. Maybe you learned the organizational system in a few days instead of a week. It doesn’t have to be something extreme like learning to play piano in a week; stick to small, useful work-related skills that you acquired quickly.

The next example you need is of a time when you became skilled or knowledgeable about something due to hard work. Unlike the first, this is less about speed than about dedication. Give an example that shows that you can stick to it even when you’re learning something that you’re not naturally talented at. This could be a work example or even a school example — if you have a college degree, that’s at least four years of hard work!

Finally, you want an experience that shows you can learn a new skill without having your hand held the whole way. Think of a time when you learned a skill without much help. It could be something as simple as learning to use a new software program at work. A work example is ideal, but if you don’t have one you could use something you studied on your own at home. This is especially good if you learned useful work skills on your own time — it shows that you’re dedicated enough to your career to advance your skills entirely of your own volition.

Be ready to talk about experiences such as these at your next interview. Keep in mind what your interviewer wants to know — that you’re a dedicated worker who learns new skills quickly and easily. Show that you will be able to get into the swing of things immediately and pick up new responsibilities as they come along. If you think about your experiences beforehand, it’s not so difficult.

Tips and Tricks on How to Install Your New Porch Swing

If you have a front porch it practically claims that you also have a porch swing. If you do not have one, get one. If you do but it's rotten or falling apart, buy a new one. Your family will thank you for it as they sit outside an enjoyable beautiful evenings away from the television.

Most people hang their swings from the porch ceiling, but some will get outdoor gliders that sit on the ground. This article will discuss how to hang it from the ceiling.

1. When you buy your swing be sure to get the hanging kit with it. No sense in going after the parts later. Most swings already include the kit, but double check for sure and buy it separately if necessary.

2. For even more comfort get the special springs which are more tightly coiled and act as shock absorbers. This will give you an even more enjoyable experience.

3. Locate the closest overhead support beam to where you want the swing placed. Be sure there is enough clearance. Drill do initial holes at the proper spacing. This pre-drilling prevails the beam from splitting.

4. Use four chains, two from each hook, to hang the swing from the beam.

5. Screw all hardware securely into the beam and use chain connectors for improved safety. Make sure everything is secure before actually hanging the swing.

6. Using at least 2 people lift the swing into position and onto the chains. Adjust the chain length to make sure both sides are even and at the right height off the ground. Give it a test!

Suggestions and Warnings:

1. Never let children stand or swing unattended. This is a porch swing not a swing set. Young children like to swing wildly and should be monitored for safe usage.

2. If your swing is real wood check for splinters and broken areas regularly. Seal them as needed.

3. If your swing is painted you'll need to repaint once in a while to keep it looking fresh and clean.

The Great Pig Escape

Our farm is located in a small town (pop. 400) that essentially is a bedroom community. A bedroom community is best described as everyone works out of town. (This distinction will be important later in the story.)

My adventures are many on the farm and usually not funny at the time of any episode. It was a cold cloudy wet November day. Just a miserable drizzle of weeping rain and I was cozy in the house with the wood stove. My day started as normal as any other day, I sent all 3 kids to school, checked on all the animals and started on my sewing project. My view is of the pigpen. We had two pigs that were going to be butchered at the end of the month and they both were close to 400 pounds apiece. We had tried a new pen this year. We built the entire thing out of pallets on a downward slope so it would drain easily. And since in the past we had so many problems with the doors getting stuck in the mud we had no door at all. We figured we could just use the chainsaw to make a door when we were ready to load them on butchering day. Well with all the rain it was getting pretty soupy in the pen and the down slope idea that sounded good 6 months ago was getting plugged up with mud from all the rain. So they were using more energy moving through that sloppy mess and they were hungry all the time. I heard plenty of squeals but as usual I was going to be feeding them at noontime and nothing out of the ordinary to hear their cries. I got up to find another spool of thread and I saw something run by my window.
"That's weird", I thought,

I must be imagining things and kept on with my work. Then I noticed the squealing just stopped and again I saw something flash by the window.

"Oh probably someone's dog is on the loose."

I better investigate just in case they will attack my turkeys that were in an outdoor pen. Well imagine my surprise it was one of my pigs. Great my husband is in New Jersey, the kids are at school and everyone is out of town working. (Bedroom community, remember?)

Okay calm down just get a bucket of grain and get the pig back to the pen.
Sounds like an easy task.

So I got some grain and my pig is in my garden eating my tomatoes in front of the house. I shake the bucket; the pig takes no notice of me,

Okay keep trying, so I am in the cold wet rain shaking a bucket of grain and the closer I get to the pig the further away it is getting from me. I hear a car slowing down and I look up and it is the Sheriff's department. Great am I in trouble for a loose pig ??

It was one of the deputy's that lives here in town; she was on her lunch break.
"You are Mrs. King right ??"

"Yes, I am"

"I wanted to ask you about raising pigs because I want to start one of my own"

"Well today really is not the best time, I have this one out and I need to get it back in the pen"
She laughed and said "well two people should be able to handle that"

Well we try cornering the pig and getting her to go to the back of the house where her pen is. Fine I see the hole she got out of and the other pig is still in the pen. I put a temporary fencing in front of the hole until I can get the other one close enough to shoo her in.

Both the deputy & I were running around the house in the bushhes, wet and cold. Well the deputy thought if she removed the temporary fencing and dump a bunch of grain inside the pen the pig on the loose would just go right back in. At this point I would try anything; I was tired, soaked down to the bone and tired of chasing that stupid animal.

To my horror the second pig decided to take her chances on the outside and squeezed through the hole and was running with her friend. I just wanted to cry, now I have two pigs loose and they are ramming my turkey pen and going next door and rooting the neighbor's trees and eating the siding off his house. We chashed them for another half hour. In the beginning I was friendly shaking the bucket of grain calling pig pig pig, now with clenched teeth, no bucket and thinking murderous thoughts and holling PIG! PIG! PIG!

The deputy looked at her watch and said her lunch was over and my pigs stink, she is not going to bother raising pigs.

"WHAT" you're not leaving me are you ?? Do not you have a tazer, tranquilizer gun or something ??
She laughed and said "No".

"What am I going to do if they get hit by a car ??" I asked.

"Easy, just tell them that they are not your pigs," she said

"Everyone in town knows they are my pigs, I am the only one that raises them"

Well she still left and I am watching my hard earned money walk up the road and out of sight. There goes our winter meat and any profit from selling the meat.

Well I needed to think of what to do and I saw someone walking down the road clapping there and and the pigs were in front of him. My neighbor down the road saw them on his lawn and he chased them back my way. Good I thought he can help me get them back into the pen. Well John came and asked if I was having trouble.

"Yes" I do not care what pen I get them into, either inside the barn or their old pen.
Well he helped me chase them for an hour and he was getting pretty darned tired of falling down on the slippery grass and going into the pucker bush and asked me if I was ready to butcher them. Thinking he meant in the future,

"Oh sure they will be going in a few weeks"

"No, I mean right now"

"What do you mean right here, right this minute?"


"No I have no clue on how to do it and I do not have any tools to cut all that meat."

"Oh, well I do not know how to either"

And as usual I watched him leave me there alone with my problem.

I was soaked and so upset. I went inside to try to figure something out. I had no clue what I was going to do, the kids would not be home for another 3 hours and people that work out of town would take another 5 hours.

I was no sooner inside and I see a truck pull in,

Great this is all I need a customer right now with all this mess going on now and I look horrible with my wet clothes and mud boots on and not smelly all that pretty.

I see a very elderly man jump out of his truck with his walking stick. I asked him if I could help him and he said someone called him and said I needed help with my pigs. I am really looking hard at him, he had to be in his 70's easy, he had slippers on and an old clothesline string for a belt. This is all I need this guy slipping and falling down and breaking something. I did not need another problem on top of that.
No that's OK I will just wait it out until the kids get home.

He asked where I want the pigs to go.

By now the barn was the only option, once in there I could easily get them into a pen.

He looks at me and tells me to go inside and make a cup of tea.
What ??

Go inside and make a cup of tea, I see my pigs eating the neighbor's bushes and again said What ??

You're just going to be in the way; you need a cup of tea to calm down.
Fine, if this guy thinks he is so smart, he can chase after them all day.

I no sooner got onto the porch I watched him crack his walking stick on the pavement and sweetly say pig pig pig. The two pigs stopped in their tracks and looked at him. And he repeated the same thing again. Those two stupid pigs that I had been chasing for over 4 hours in the rain, looked at him and said "oh the look at the nice man, let's see what he wants".

This elderly man that looked so odd and out of place; he walked those two pigs right into the barn and closed the door.

I went out to the barn and asked him how he managed that.

"Oh you have to talk nice to the pigs"

"I did for at least 2 of the 4 hours I was chasing them"

He laughed, "I had pigs before and I had had to chase my share"

I wanted to cry; just the relief of the pigs being caught and the chase was finally over. Well you may as well come in for a cup of tea, you earned it.

Enjoy a Festive European City Break

As the summer begins to draw to a close, many travel enthusiasts will be starting to think about the ideal trip to enjoy around Christmas time, with the cities of Prague and Budapest becoming very popular destinations in recent years.

Prague is a great city to visit all year round, with its stunning architecture and rich history; highlighted by many of the grand castles and bridges dotted around the city, some of which date back as far as the 14th century. It's during the festive season, however, when the city center comes alive with the annual Christmas Markets lighting up the city streets.

Running daily through December, Prague's Christmas markets take place at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, with smaller ones operating at Havelske Trziste & Namesti Republiky, all within ten minutes walk of each other. As if being surrounded by amazing historical attractions such as Charles Bridge and St. Petersburg. Vitus Cathedral was not enough, Christmas time in Prague offers a myriad of sights and sounds to take in. The markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts, selling Czech handicrafts, hot food, hats, scarves and Christmas tree ornaments.

Most impressive of all however, is the Christmas tree which stands in the center of the Town Square. Shipped from the Sumava Mountains in the south of Czech Republic, the huge tree is draped in beautiful lights that when set against the dark, Gothic background of Prague's town center, forms a spectacular sight.

Budapest, Hungary, has also become a popular destination for those wishing to enjoy a unique yuletide trip. Much like Prague, Budapest also celebrates the festive period with a Christmas fair, featuring over 100 wooden stands offering local specialties, crafts and paintings, as well as exhibitions and music programs. Open air ice-skating is also a popular past time in the Hungarian capital during the winter months. Of course, spending Christmas in a city such as Budapest means you'll enjoy some of the finest sights in Europe including the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the Parliament Building and the promenade where visitors can enjoy a stroll along the banks of the River Danube before tucking into some traditional Hungarian festive fare.

Central Europe exudes music so it will come as no surprise that Christmas in Budapest features many concerts and performances of classic pieces from the great composers of the 18th and 19th century, often in avenues that offer astounding examples of Baroque architecture.

Those enjoying a Christmas European city break to Prague or Budapest have the opportunity for a truly unique experience, not to mention the chance to pick up some great gifts for friends and family back home, without having to use the expensive Euro.

Although those wishing to get away from it all at Christmas without going too far from home can find any number of great festive trips in cities such as Berlin or Vienna, which offer just as many cultural and historic attractions as Prague or Budapest and can be just as memorable.

Interesting Facts on Samurai Sword Manufacture

A samurai's sword is his most sacred and prized possession. Not only did the samurai rely on his sword to defend him, but naturally the sword held greater significance as the samurai actually believed his soul associated the sword. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the same discipline and respect in which the samurai wielded his sword, went into the actual making of the sword itself.

Swords were not simply 'cast' in a mold and then sharpened. A Japanese samurai sword was made by an intricate process of heating the steel, hammering it flat, then folding it, then hammering it flat again, and folding. This process of repeated hammering and folding would have done up to as much as 30 times, or until the maker was satisfied it had been done properly.

There are quite a few reasons for this labor-intensive procedure. Firstly, any air pockets which might develop during the heating of the steel would be eliminated. Having an air pocket in a seemingly solid blade would be a weak point, and any weak point would be seen as neglect and any dedicated artisan would produce the highest quality blades as if his own life depended upon the very blade he was forging. Secondly, in the repeated folding and hammering, what might be described as 'layers' were produced. Take a book and roll it up parallel with the spell, these internal layers would look something like this, almost like the rings of a cross section of a tree trunk. This added much strength to the blade.

Also the natural strengthening carbon elements within the steel, as well as the impurities would have spread through the whole of the sword, therefore strengthening it in its ownity. When the blade came to be cooled it was not simply quenched in water, another process had to be done first. When steel is being cooled, if it cools from a high temperature right down to cold in a short amount of time, the metal becomes very hard and brittle. Conversely, if steel is cooled slowly from a lower temperature right down to cold, the steel takes on more supple, even softer properties. Because a samurai sword was used primarily as a slicing weapon the blades were subjected to a lot of shock upon impact on the enemy, therefore the blade could not be made of the brittle steel through else it would shatter like glass. But the sword had to retain its sharp edge, so it could not be made of softly forged steel through otherwise it would simply blunt. So a balance was stuck using a very clever procedure.

What the Japanese samurai sword makers discovered was by painting on a clay formula onto the blade before quenching, thin amounts onto the cutting edge and thicker amounts onto the back, the steel could have made to take on two completely separate properties, thereby giving the blade the hard cutting edge it required, and the more supple back. Because of the different speeds in which the two halves of the steel cooled this also formed the beginning of the curve from which the sword makers would work to create the famous curved blade.

Patenting Your Invention – Ten Common Mistakes to Avoid

So, you think you're ready to patent your invention, kick back and watch your millions roll in, right? Who knows, you could have a success, but I've seen a lot of mistakes clog up the process costing inventors valuable time and valuable dollars. At my company we strive to ensure our ideas go as far as we can take them and over the years we've seen several mistakes appear over and over.

Here are ten mistakes to avoid that could prove fatal for new inventors.

1. Patenting too early

If all you have is a loose idea of ​​what you want, then it's probably too early to dish out up to $ 12,000 in attorney and patent filing fees, not to mention the long term patent upkeep costs that'll weigh you down. So, when is the right time to patent? Well, when you're prepared. I'll tackle that in a minute.

2. Taking your invention to a patent attorney when you're unprepared

This is the largest one. The key to saving money is preparation. The fewer questions a patent attorney has to ask, the less time you'll be on his clock, shoveling away money you do not have. Always answer their questions before they even ask them. Prevent this up front with detailed engineering drawings, a product sample and an executive summary.

This saves valuable time. A patent draftsman will quickly be able to do his work; as well, the attorney will know what your idea is and how it works. With detailed engineering drawings, showing your work in an exploded view, you'll also be able to show the inner workings of your invention to the patent attorney. Sometimes there is a certain element involved that makes your patent even more specific. This could force competitors wishing to knock off your product to make an inferior product, because they can not get those details (that may have otherwise never been seen if it was not for real engineering).

3. Patenting something that can not be made

I know, this one should be obvious, but is it? You may have the best invention in the world, but what the point if it can not be made. A manufacturer might end up re-engineering the whole project just to put it all together right. Then you'll be left with refiling a new patent to reflect the new product, which brings more money and pain you could have avoided.

4. Patenting something that's not marketable at a price point anyone would pay

Again, knowing how your invention will be manufactured will determine its patentability and its cost for the consumer. If it costs too much to make, then you'll have a tough time finding someone to license and sell it at a profit. This all comes back to real detailed drawings for real manufacturing.

5. Patenting too late

"First you say, 'Do not patent too early,' now you're telling me not to patent too late.

Patenting too late leaves your invention open to becoming public domain. This can happen one year after making a public disclosure. Now, no one wants this. When you invent something, it's your baby. You do not want it ripped off or stolen and you would not mind getting credit and maybe even making a few dollars. Once it's in the public domain, anyone can use it without your permission.

So, get your ducks in a row. Know what the product is, how it will be made, etc. Once all of that is in line, it'll be much easier to commit to patenting.

6. Patenting without a working prototype

Did you know there was a time in our great country's history when inventors had to take a working prototype to the patent office before they could even consider filing for a patent? Well, today you do not need one, but it'll make your life easier and the process go quicker.

If the patent attorney has any questions left over from the executive summary and the engineering drawings, using the product sample should shut him up and get him to work for you (if the product's design communicates well). Remember, you're on the clock with an attorney and time and money is precious. Get past the early mistakes and get down to the business, so your attorney can help you protect your invention.

7. I have to have a patent

"Wait, so I've read this far and suddenly you're going to tell me I do not need a patent?"

Not exactly. I think it's a good time to remind you that you do not have to have a patent. Well, maybe not right now. Big corporations like Westinghouse and Sony patent just about everything they come up with, because they can. But that does not mean you have to. I wonder if there is another device you could use to get some protection at an affordable price … well, what's this at number eight?

8. Ignoring the power of the provisional patent

Filing the provisional patent application may be all you need while you try to license your invention, or attempt to take it to market independently. A common misconception inventors continue to kick around is that corporations looking to license will not license without a patent already in place. Welcome to the era of open innovation.

In the past, many companies wanted to ensure an inventor had a patent for several reasons. First, they want to protect themselves. What if you bring in an idea their R & D division is already working on in secret. Then they turn you down and release their own product on the market. A legal battle may ensue. Second, the corporation just wants to place another barrier between an inventor and their doors.

However, today, more and more companies want innovative products to secure markets and ring in additional profits. They're more likely to look at a creation with a provisional patent.

There are some caveats you should heed with provisional patents. They last only one year unless you file a non-provisional patent within that year. Secondly, your non-provisional patent will only rebate back to the same properties disclosed in the provisional patent. So, if you change the invention too much, the protection will not need to rebate back for the year.

9. Filing countless addendums, when you could have had it right the first time

You patented your product. You present it to a corporation. They're interested, but they will not look any further without you (insert dramatic pause) change your design. Hey, it happens once, twice, or until it's right for them to commit. So, what do you need to do, you need to file addendums or even new patents as you move along. Nip it in the bud before it starts.

Target your market and work hard through the development and building phase to perceive any design or marketability problems. Try as hard as you can to get it right before you patent.

10. "I got a patent, now I'll just wait for my millions"

A patent does not guarantee you anything. Someone can protest your patent. Someone can wait until your product sells on shelves and take you to court for a patent conflict. Inventing is a tough world and it takes more than just a patent. It takes a great invention, design and the work to get it licensed and put it on shelves. It takes spirit, heart and confidence.

I hope this list helps you out. At my organization, we believe strongly in a process armed with the value of good design, engineering drawings, clear executive summaries, packaging and, most important, working product samples. These elements speak volumes and make patenting simpler.

Top 10 Engineering Feats

Everyday the boundaries of engineering are challenged with new amazing projects being undertaken and completed to fulfil the needs of modern day life. This article celebrates some famous engineering feats that have helped shape society today and other feats that are simply marvelous in the audacity of the challenges they resolve.

1) Moon Landing – Moon landings can be classified as manned or unmanned landings, but when you mention the ‘moon landing’ then most people think of the first manned landing on the moon when the Apollo 11 mission placed two astronauts (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) onto the surface, leaving us with the immortal phrase: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind…’ The pursuit of placing a person on the surface of the moon began in earnest in the 1960s and was completed within a decade on July 20th 1969. This event marked a definitive point in the 20th Century and at the time helped cement the United States above Russia as the ‘greatest superpower’ whilst firing the imagination of generations of children.

2) Panama Canal – Opened in 1914 this man-made canal joins the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Panama Canal was a colossal engineer project which resulted in an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans by reducing the journey time immensely. For example a journey from New York and San Francisco via Cape Horn is around 14,000 miles whilst the same journey but instead utilizing the Panama Canal is less than half the journey at 6000 miles. Average journey time through the canal is between 8-10 hours and the largest ship that can travel through the canal is classed as a Panamax. This size of the ships that can travel the canal are restricted by the maximum size the locks. The max length of a ship allowed to travel along the canal is 294.1 meters with a Draft of 12.0 metres.

3) Burj Dubai – is a skyscraper which holds the record for the world tallest building. The Burj Dubai towers above the surrounding landscape at a huge 818meters tall and has been built as a centerpiece of an urban development that will include homes, hotels and parkland. The previous record holder for the world tallest structure was the KVLY-TV mast located in North Dakota, United States, however the Burj Dubai breaks this record by a long way. The more you read about the Burj Dubai the more amazing the whole structure seems, with many of the building’s sub-systems being record breakers themselves, such as the observatory lifts breaking the record for the longest travel distance between lowest and highest stop. These elevators also travel at 40mph or 18 meters per second which sounds like a fast ride! At the time of writing there are no structures under construction that can challenge the Burj Dubai for the world tallest building, but there are some buildings that have been proposed and have potential funding, such as the Mile High Tower, but those projects still have a long way to go before they are even started.

4) Millau Viaduct – The Millau Viaduct may not be the longest bridge in the world but it is current the tallest vehicular bridge standing at a whopping 353 meters which is taller than the epitome of French symbols- the Eiffel Tower. The bridge was opened in December 2004 and crosses the Valley of the River Tarn close to Millau in the South of France. The bridge was designed by structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and architect Norman Foster and possesses both an engineering wow factor and an audacious design. The architect Normal Foster was quoted as saying that the bridge looked ‘impossibly delicate’ and was a ‘dialogue between nature and the man made.’, after looking at this elegant structure it is hard to disagree.

5) Supertankers – Behemoths of the ocean, the supertanker is the largest class of ocean going oil-tanker. The largest ever tankers were the Knock Nevis (in length at 458.4m long) and the Batillus Class Supertankers, which amongst them hold the records for the highest gross tonnage of 275,276 tons. All four Batillus supertankers have now been scrapped, whilst the Knock Nevis has now been classified as a floating storage and offloading unit therefore these great ships that were built throughout the 1970’s have not been surpassed in size since. To make a comparison in size the Knock Nevis is slightly longer than the height of the Empire State Building in New York (443m high)

6) Channel Tunnel (Le tunnel sous la Manche) The Channel Tunnel is the longest tunnel with an undersea section in the world. The length of the Channel Tunnel is 50.5 kilometres in links Folkestone, England to Coquelles, France. The tunnel itself was bored through a chalk marl stratum which was deemed a good material for tunneling as it is both strong and easy to excavate. The actual tunnel consists of three separate tunnels connected together by cross-passage links. The two main tunnels which or rail tunnels are 7.6 metre in diameter, whilst the service tunnel is 4.8 metre in diameter. Construction of the tunnel began in 1988 and opened in 1994 and has been rated as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

7) Three Gorges Dam – Another huge feat of engineering the Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric river dam that spans the Yangtze River in China and is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world with a power output of up to 22,500 MW. It is hard to envision the scale of the dam at 2309 metres wide and 101 metres tall. As with most projects there is an environmental impact and this ensures that the project is controversial as it has a negative impact on the wildlife, landscape and local culture, however from an engineering point of view it is hard not to be impressed by what was achieved by the project.

8) Concorde – Between 1976 and 2003 the only way to fly transatlantic between London and New York (if you were lucky enough to be able to afford it) was by flying in Concorde- the world’s most successful supersonic passenger airline. Concorde was able to cruise at an average speed of Mach 2.02 (1,330 mph) and had a maximum cruise altitude of 60,000 feet making the flight time from London to New York only 3.5 hours long. The designers of Concorde had to pioneer and over come many engineering and technological challenges to make the airplane able to travel at such speeds and altitude. The aircraft enjoyed many successful years but was finally retired in 2003. A number of things coincided with the demise of Concorde, in part a change in the economic climate made the cost to fly transatlantic at supersonic speeds less viable, a crash of one of the Concorde fleet temporarily grounded the airplane and the design was showing signs of age approaching thirty years in commission. Due to the lack of competition Concorde didn’t benefit from many upgrades over the years so the technology ended up being slightly dated. However, as dated as the engineering may have become over its life cycle the fact remains that the concept of a supersonic commercial airline and the design that resulted from that concept hasn’t been surpassed and one could say that technology and engineering has receded with Concorde’s demise as no viable replacement has been put in place. Today high-class commercial passengers are restricted to the same lower speeds achievable by traditional aircraft. The days of supersonic passenger aircraft zooming across the Atlantic have therefore been grounded for the foreseeable future.

9) Langeled Pipeline – On the surface a long pipe may appear boring, but under the surface (no pun intended) the Langeled Pipeline which helps make million of Britons make their tea in the morning is quite the engineering feat. The Langeled Pipeline was built to bring natural gas from Norway to the UK the Langeled Pipeline in the longest underwater pipeline in the world stretching 1,200km from Nyhamna in Norway to Easington, England. Gas from the Langeled equates to 20% of Britain’s gas supply making it an integral part of the Britain’s energy infrastructure and the pipeline can carry 70 million cubic meters of gas per day. The project was finished in two stages with the second half of the project opening in October 2006.

10) TauTona Mine – The TauTona is a gold mine in South Africa which is now the deepest mine in the world at 3.9km deep and can be described by three ways, deep, potentially dangerous and lucrative. The TauTona mine had been challenging for the record of the deepest mine for a while but when the mine’s owners AngloGold Ashanti decided to expand the mine then it took the record from the East Rand Mine which was 3,585m deep. The mine was originally sunk in 1957 with operations starting in 1962, however since the original construction two additional shafts have been created. The mine has around 800km of tunnels and Working in the TauTona mine can be dangerous with miners occasionally losing their life. Workers in the mine have to travel for up to an hour to reach the rock face, which can reach temperatures of 60°C

It is hard not to be impressed by the scale of all these engineering jobs and the vision engineers had when conceiving the ‘almost impossible. Boundaries are constantly being pushed and the ‘largest’, ‘longest’ or ‘fastest’ are constantly challenged and superseded by new engineering and technology.

Themed Marriage Proposals – Medieval

Does your girlfriend love the renaissance fair? Does she dream about the fairy tales of her knight in shining armor? Medieval proposals can be some of the most fun things to do! And if she loves medieval times, then you are going to score huge points with her.

Have you ever been to the renaissance fair? There are a number of them around the United States. Every person who goes there is encouraged to wear costumes or dress in garb from that time period. This is a perfect place to propose to her. Tell her that you want to go and get your tickets. Then spend some time with her picking out costumes for the both of you to wear. Talk about how great of a day it is going to be with the two of you going there and feeling like you are in another time period. Compliment her on her costume a few times and keep telling her that you cannot wait to see her in it at the fair. You really want to get her excited about going.

Call the fair ahead of time and let them know you are planning to do a medieval marriage proposal. Ask them if there is anything that they do for proposals, or if there is something you can work into one of their shows. There are plenty of things at these fairs where they ask for participants from the audience, so this might be a great opportunity for you to ask her to marry you. If they do not offer anything like this, then try to get to the fair one day before the both of you go. Walk around for an hour and see what the scenery is like, where the crowds form, if there are any secluded places, etc. This way when you get there, you will know exactly where you want to go to propose to her. She will finally have her knight in shining armor!

Another great idea is to call up Medieval Times. They are a company that performs shows around the United States and have a number of locations. It is a fun and entertaining event for everyone to enjoy. The seating is arena style and they serve food before the event begins. The food comes out on medieval plates with goblets to drink from. You get a very medieval feeling during the entire meal as the wenches come around to wait on you. After dinner, the event begins and the knights come out into the arena! A night of jousting, sword battles, ground combat, and even romance follows for the show. Ask them if they have any marriage proposal packages that you can get. This entire event is very heavy on crowd participation so it would not even be out of the ordinary if the both of you were asked to do something. Chances are she will have no idea what is going on until you actually go down on one knee and ask her to marry you. Not only will you have the ambient effect in your favor, but a standing ovation from the entire arena as well. Now that is a great way to start off a nice life together!

You do not always have to go so grand either. You can have a renaissance proposal without spending a hundred dollars. Search in your geographical location for anything that is celtic which also has that old feeling to it. There are celtic fairs that take place throughout the year that you can attend. There are also some celtic properties where people go to meditate, hike, or have a quiet afternoon reading a book. These types of places are great as they are outdoors and usually have extraordinary scenery or decorations. Proposing by the babbling brook or on the hilltop as the sun sets will give nice dramatic effects to the moment.

So there are some ways to incorporate a medieval or renaissance theme into proposing to your girlfriend. Rest assured, if you take the time to just plan it out then things will go smoothly for you. I wish you the best of luck! Let us know how it works out!

Successful B2B Social Media Plan Process… The THINK TANK

Here’s Part Two of the social media sustainability plan to help B2B companies leverage technology with Online Networking. To fully understand LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, etc, at branding companies, they highly recommend B2B corporations incorporate a quality assurance process to maximize, elevate and master these online business development tools. The top eight steps in building the plan include:

1. Research and Build a Communications Framework: Establish a corporate usage guide for engaging with your clients, prospects, team members, community and media. With a comprehensive communications protocol in place, the content generators will have a greater understanding of the firm’s core values, mission, vision, services and products.

2. Source Relevance and Popular Case Studies which are inline with Your Target Audience: Establish a set of service and or product success stories to kick off the session. Incorporate industry-related keywords and common phrases to generate side stories or “Newspegs” to keep the conversation “well-rounded” and inclusive. Engaging keywords can be also geographic and topical.

3. Brainstorm and Record Content with Your Team: A discovery session allows the team(s) to exchange numerous ideas on predetermined topics in a controlled environment. Ensure the brainstorm is highly engaging, open to all team members, and between 10:00am and 2:00pm. Enlisting the services of an experienced facilitator is recommended to tap into your team’s brand experience.

4. Develop Strategic Plan and Make Key Recommendations: The critical fourth step is the implementation phase where the framework, ideas, stories, studies, keywords, strengths, competition research, timeline, W5, etc. converge into a tactical roadmap. Each team member is delegated several tasks due in a short timeframe (to remain top-of-mind).

5. Conduct Risk Analysis and Engage with Opinion Polls and Discussions: Prior to launching your social media plan, it is recommended you assess and manage the risk of sensitive subjects/stories/insights for potential success or perceived weakness. Online polling and monitoring internet discussion boards can provide valuable feedback and opinions on current subject trends.

6. Brand Design and Create Social Media interfaces: Once the content strategy is complete, the next stage is to develop and brand the “look and feel” of the social network home pages. The consistency of verbal and visual communications is the key to establishing credibility, engaging a following, and being seen as a trusted source of knowledge.

7. Develop and Program Website Landing Pages for Social Media Stories: With the opening up of a communications channel to your firm, the next step is to provide the reader with a place to learn more about your company, its services, products, people, purpose, etc. Customized and simple landing pages are required to greet your new browsers and engage them to learn more about your firm.

8. Daily, weekly, monthly maintenance with ongoing improvement: Keep a lookout for new hi-tech methods of relevant and popular information gathering and social media sharing. Monitor your case studies, success stories and newspegs to ascertain the level of popularity. Manage change for the better and celebrate successful campaigns with your team… All for One and One for All!