Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing up to 11

Raising brand awareness, building trust, establishing credibility, and ultimately driving revenue, that’s what the top of the funnel is all about. It can be a marketer’s “Paradise City”, but without focus, it can quickly become overwhelming. The one-two punch of social media and content marketing is a vital part of any successfully integrated marketing approach. If you are not pairing these two powerhouses together then you are simply missing opportunities to grow your business.

The tactics and strategies in this book have come together through a tremendous amount of research, trial and error, expert input, and real world applications. From startups to enterprise—what’s included here works across the board and can very quickly make an impact.

Just like your favorite double album, this book is separated into four sides, each one addressing a different aspect of Content and Social: For any business translation inquiries, contact Translation Services UK

• Content – Why marketers need to change their mentality from creating more content, to more relevant content and three practical ways to create content that delivers a face-melting return on investment.

• Social – Using social to build awareness, trust and drive high quality leads.

• All Together Now – What the future holds for content and social and what it means for marketers.

• The Credits – The essential resources you need to stay on top of trends in content and social media.

No frills, no fluff, just useful, practical tactics, strategies and lessons from one modern marketer to another, with a touch or rock n roll flare.

Fiction Book Funnels: How to Engage With Your Readers and Sell More Books!

How are YOU engaging with your readers?

Congratulations. You’ve finished your first novel! Go you. Now you’re ready to hit ‘publish’ and wait for the millions to roll in, a al 50 Shades of Grey… What’s that you hear? Crickets? Doh!

Writing your story was the easy part, publishing, launching and getting in front of your raving fans, that’s the part that’s tricky if you’re not sure how to go about it or don’t have a list.

Engaging with your readers takes a bit of finesse, a sprinkle of magic and a lot of know-how and can-do mindset shifting. Figure that stuff out, and you’re singing in the rain…

But How?

Let’s show you by telling… meet Lara. She’s an indie author like yourself, writing for the love of writing, telling her romance and mystery stories and sharing her self-published novels with friends and family in the hopes that they’ll share it with their friends and so on and so on.

Only it’s not really panning out that way for her. For some reason, none of her close friends and family seem at all interested in her books! Lara is at a loss as to why this is, and is super frustrated with thelack of support she’s getting.

How on earth is she going to make her millions with such a lack of interest in her books?!

A Solution

Does this story sound familiar? It sure does to us. Not only are Lise and Liz indie authors who have self-published books themselves, but Lise really struggled with engaging with her readers in the beginning.

Crickets were definitely the norm after publishing a couple of books and she was more than a little miffed when even her own family and friends weren’t clamoring to grab a copy of her hard written stories. How rude, right!

Enter the amazing Liz to the rescue! Not only is Liz a self-published author too, but she is an amazing ‘people connector’ and she know’s a thing or two about engagement. Together, we worked on ways to increase not only engagement with Lise’s current readers, but also in drawing new readers into her ‘book funnel.’

Fiction Book Funnels is all about how to attract raving fans to your books, entice them to grab your book, “bribe” them with an incentive and then ‘get’ them with you’re amazing personality, wordsmithing wizadary and all-round indie author awesomeness. Now try saying that last line three times really fast!

Here’s What’s Inside:

* How to setup a permafree book, including the right strategy for your book business

* How to use Facebook advertising to drive hungry readers to your books

* How to properly engage with your readers with awesome autoresponders, with examples and swipe files!

* Tips on how to set up your author platform and what options are available if you don’t want a website

* Plus much more!

Review of Fundamentals of Poker

There are a lot of people in this world that like to play poker, but don’t really know the ropes. A lot of fun games go on at kitchen tables that don’t look much like what is played in card rooms, and these public games can be extremely intimidating to people thinking about playing in a casino for the first time. Clearly, there is the need for a simple book that bridges the gap, that introduces the basic concepts of poker to a wide audience.

Fundamentals of Poker is a short book that can be easily read by the average reader in less than an hour. It starts with an introduction and a brief history of the game, that for being only two pages long, is fairly thorough. Next, the authors discuss some general guidelines for poker play, including hand rankings, general advice, and common poker etiquette.

The next two sections describe the basics of play of Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em, respectively. As these two games are the most commonly played in casinos, they obviously deserve the most attention. While the strategies presented here are extremely simple, they’re about as good as you’re going to get in a maximum of 15 pages in this format.

The book then presents a section on other popular Slot Gacor games, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Stud 8, Razz, and Lowball. Needless to say, the strategies listed for each game is even more basic. The book also contains a glossary and a recommended reading list extremely heavy on books published by Two Plus Two Publishing.

I have some quibbles about some of the phrasings of explanations and strategies, but these are minor at best. However, I do think the book comes up short on explaining casino decorum. I don’t think ten more pages would have harmed the book any, and extra information on how the house makes its money, how to get on the lists for games, and some more information on how casino games are likely to be different from home games (pace, quality of opposition, etc.) would have been well worth the effort. True, given the variation of procedures in today’s card rooms this isn’t an easy task. Yet, there are enough similarities that such a section could be extremely useful for the novice.

Nonetheless, the book does a very good job of encapsulating the very basics of poker in its small form factor, and I would recommend that just about anyone read it before playing poker in a casino for the first time. However, it’s not quite as much information as I wanted before I made my rookie debut in a card room. There is no real reason for a person who has played poker in a casino before to read this book.


A good book on the basics of the most popular games of poker played in public card rooms today. This book is aimed at the novice poker player, one who has never played in a casino before. However, I found the information on casino procedures to be lacking a little. If you’ve played casino poker already, don’t bother with this book unless you think you’re missing something truly fundamental and you have nobody you feel you can ask.

Diamond Painting

Diamond Painting Questions – Most Common Questions

You have questions about diamond painting and we have answers. Hopefully, yours is covered here. Before you send us an email, read through this FAQ to see if we already discussed and answered your question for you!

Is diamond painting fun?

Oh, yeah, it is so much fun! This is a hobby that is getting really popular lately, and more and more people are discovering it every day. What makes it so fun is how simple it makes art for people who may not be very experienced at creating art on their own. People who haven’t given the hobby a try maybe asking is diamond painting fun, and they are going to be blown away by their experience with it.

Which part of the hobby is the most fun? Some people really enjoy just picking out the painting to do in the first place. Others love applying the diamond drills over time and how relaxing that process is. And there are some who get the most enjoyment out of seeing their finished painting and then displaying it for all to see.

How to use diamond painting pen?

The pen may seem kind of strange to use at first. It’s not like traditional illustration where you switch from one tool to the next to get your lines and colors just the way you want them. It’s a bit more like paint by numbers, where you use the same tool and just apply your colors. In this case, though, the diamond drills are your colors. More about Diamond Painting

You dip the end of the pen into the wax and then pick up the diamond drills, carrying them over to the canvas and placing them in their assigned spots. It’s as simple as that, so even though the process might seem a bit odd and unfamiliar, it is one that you will get used to quickly.

Most pens will pick up one diamond at a time, but some of them are designed to pick up three or fine at once, making the process of adding diamonds to a painting much faster. Only use that kind of pen if you are an expert, though. How to use a diamond painting pen that handles more than one diamond drill at a time? It takes just the right amount of pressure and steady hands. No need to worry about the learning curve; you will get the hang of it in time.

How hard is diamond painting?

This is one of the diamond painting questions we get often, because a lot of people are not sure if they want to try a new hobby like this and may be wondering how much work they have to do to get good at it. The good news is that anyone can pick up diamond painting right away. It’s designed to be simple and accessible. While you may not know exactly what to do when you get your diamond painting in the mail or buy it in a store, the instructions included in the package will explain the process to you.

If you are concerned about how hard diamond painting is, you should start with a small painting. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed at first. It will be manageable for you, and you can complete the canvas before you get frustrated with how long it is taking you.

The process of picking up diamonds and applying them to the canvas will be slow at first, even if you are excited about adding vibrant, shiny colors to the painting. Over time, though, it will become easier and faster, and you will speed through the painting process to make your masterpieces very quickly.

Do diamond painting kits come with extra diamonds?

Most of the time, your kit will come with some extra diamonds. You will have more than you need for a few reasons. The obvious reason is because sometimes the diamonds get lost. They are very small, so it’s easy to lose them if they drop on the floor or fall out of the bags. You might see them roll under a piece of furniture and not feel like chasing them down.

So, a few extras are often provided for your convenience. If you lose a few, it’s no big deal, because you can just grab from the extras.

The other reason that diamond painting kit manufacturers will often include a few extra diamonds is because some people like to change up the colors they use on their paintings. Each canvas has marked spots where the diamonds of each color are supposed to be placed, but if you want to deviate from that and place some different colors in spots that you pick, then you can do that.

Having a few extra diamonds in the bags gives you freedom to express yourself better and make your own unique version of the painting. That way, yours doesn’t look like anyone else’s!


Who Has the Loosest Slots in Vegas?

Who Has the Loosest Slots in Vegas?

I’m proud to feature my list of which casinos in Las Vegas have the loosest reeled slots. The top ten, based on nickel slots are:

Top Ten Casinos

Rank Casino Average


1 Palms 93.42%

2 Gold Coast 92.84%

3 Sahara 92.81%

4 (tie) Bourbon Street 92.63%

4 (tie) Imperial Palace 92.63%

4 (tie) Slots a Fun 92.63%

7 Key Largo 92.6%

8 Western 92.57%

9 Ellis Island 92.56%

10 El Cortez 92.56%

For the entire list please visit my slot machine appendix 3.

How They Work

In my experience slot machines are the most misunderstood form of gambling in the casinos. Not only do most players misunderstand how they work so do the writers of most books on slot machines. Consider yourself lucky to have stumbled upon this page for you are about to learn the secrets behind the reels.

Before I explain how modern slot machines work let me explain how they don’t work. Many books on slot machines incorrectly state that each reel is equally likely to stop on each position, or stop. They reason that if a slot machine has 22 stops on each reel and one jackpot symbol on each reel, then the probability of hitting the jackpot is 1 in 223 = 1/10648. This was true of the early days of slot machines before they become ทางเข้า789bet electronic, and of multi-line machines. However this is not true of single line machines, which most slot machines are. The fact is that on single line machine each stop is electronically weighted and the probability of the reel stopping on each symbol is proportional to its weight.

Following is a detailed explanation of how modern single-line slot machines work.

Player initiates a new play by inserting a coin, pulling the handle, or hitting the ‘spin’ button.

The machine selects three random numbers. These are chosen from a random number generator that is constantly drawing random numbers at a rate of thousands per second. The numbers chosen at the moment the play is initiated are the ones used to determine the final outcome. In other words the outcome is predestined the moment you spin the reels.

The raw three random numbers chosen from the previous step will usually be very large, very small is also a possibility. These numbers will be converted to a desired range, for example integers from 0 to 63. An easy way this can be done is to divide the large number by the desired number and taking the remainder.

The small random numbers will go through a mapping table to be assigned a specific reel to stop on. Each possible random number on each reel is mapped to a specific stop. Generally the higher paying symbols are mapped to fewer numbers.

Almost instantly after the player presses spin the machine has determined where the reels are going to stop. It then lets them spin a few seconds for entertainment value and then will exactly where programmed to.

Multi-line slots, both with physical as well as video display reels do not have weighted reels. Otherwise the process is the same as above. In video display slots representations of actual reels are used, which can be quite large, 60 symbols or more.

In an effort to illustrate how reels are weighted I played a Double Strike slot machine in Reno almost 4000 times and recorded the outcome of every spin. For all the details on that visit my slot machine appendix 5.

Variable State Slots

Some of the video display slot machines have a feature in which a bonus rises the more the player plays it. When the reels stop in a particular configuration the player wins the coins in the meter. These kinds of slots have variable states. In other words the higher the state the greater the expected payback. Examples of this kind of machine include Piggy Bank, Car Race, Temperature Rising, and Double Diamond Mine.

It is possible to have a positive expected value playing slots if you only play variable state slots in very high states. Sometimes casual players will walk away from a machine in a high state. However this secret is long since out and competition for these games can be severe, fistfights have been known to occur over them.

Slot Payback

Based on my own research among 62 Las Vegas casinos here are the rates of return for video display slot machines according to coinage.

Slot Machine Payback

Coinage Average


5 cents 91.17%

10 cents 91.64%

25 cents 92.15%

50 cents 93.00%

1 dollar 93.72%

Returns can vary substantially from casino to casino. This is just a generalization, and there are many exceptions, but as a rule of thumb the nicer the casino the tighter the slots are.


Below are some of the biggest myths about slot machines.

Slot machines stop on any possible set of stops with equal probability

As explained above this is not true of modern single line slot machines. Some stops are much more likely than others.

Slot machines are programmed to go through a cycle of payoffs. Although the cycle can span thousands of spins once it reaches the end the outcomes will repeat themselves in exactly the same order as the last cycle.

This is not true at all. Every trial is random and independent of all past trials.

Slot machines are programmed to pay off a particular percentage of money bet. Thus after a jackpot is hit the machine will tighten up to get back in balance, and when a jackpot has not been hit for a long time it is overdue and more likely to hit.

The only part of this that is true is that they are designed to pay off a particular percentage. However the laws of probability dictate that the longer the machine is played the closer it will come to its target payoff, even with every trial being completely random. A jackpot is equally as likely to be hit on every spin, regardless of past outcomes.

Hot/cold coins are more likely to yield good returns.

The temperature of the coin does not matter. It also does not matter how long it has been since the coin was last played.

Machines pay more if a player card is not used.

The mechanism that determines the outcome of each play does not consider whether a card is used or not.

If I use a slot card the casino will report my winnings to the IRS.

The use of a slot card will not change your tax liability. If you win $1200 or more in a single spin (including the original wager) then the casino will report the win whether a slot card is used or not. Any smaller win will not be reported whether or not a slot card is used. The casino does not add up the smaller wins and report them to the IRS. Aside from the big wins, the player is on the honor system to report a net win over the entire year.

Other Tips

Here are some other miscellaneous tips to help you cut down the house edge.

Most machines reward you for playing the maximum coins. For example the jackpot may pay 2000 coins with 2 coins played, but 4000 with 3 coins played. Many other gambling writers advise the player to always play the maximum coins. However if the max coin incentive is small I believe it is better to play one coin at a higher coinage than max coins at a lower coinage. This is because casinos generally increase the return percentage as the coinage goes up.

Never leave or play a machine that owes you money. Sometimes a machine will run out of money before it is finished paying you off. If you get up someone else can sit at your machine and claim they hit your jackpot. If you put another coin you may lose the evidence so don’t touch anything until you are paid off.

Look for certain banks of machines that are certified to a certain percentage. Some casinos will have banks of dollar machines that are certified at 97% payback or so. Be careful to believe claims such as “our slots return 97%.” This likely refers to just certain machines, so look for those specifically under a sign indicating their payback percentage.

If you like to hop from machine to machine then don’t forget your coin cup. I once lost a cup with about $40 in quarters at Caesars Palace and I’m still mad at myself for it.

Check the slot card reader from time to time. Sometimes contact will be lost for no apparent reason and you won’t get credit for any play until you reinsert it.

There Is No Easy Way

There are lots of people selling the “secrets” of winning at slots and promise easy winnings to the buyer. Don’t waste your money. There are only two ways to beat the slots without cheating: (1) Play variable state slots (as explained above) in high states and (2) play progressive slots when the meter is unusually high. Based on what I have seen those authors promising easy money at the slot machines are not exploring these methods but instead rambling on with a mixture of correct and incorrect information, neither of which will give the player an edge. Here are is just some example The Casino Slot Machine Player Gambler’s Program

I know this cliche is old and tired but it is still right, “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”

Roobet Crash

Florida Cruise Ship Faces Illegal Betting Suit

The trial began Wednesday in the state’s civil case against the former owners of the Palm Beach Princess cruise ship, alleging that they allowed illegal sports betting in their casino. Gambling is not legal until cruise ships enter international waters, which begin three miles from shore. Assistant Attorney General Stephen LeClair says the Palm Beach Princess, which is owned by Leo Equity Group and Deerbrooke Investments, engaged in bookmaking before the ship ever set sail. Before the ship hit international waters, passengers were able to file papers with the casino outlining the sporting events they wanted to bet on and how much they wanted to wager. Alan Rose, the attorney for the ship’s former owner, expressed that before the ship hit international waters, passengers were allowed to submit only betting slips on sporting events about to begin. The trial, which is expected to last a week, is before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga.

Mississippi Casinos’ Holiday Giveaways

Holiday gifts are in the mix for casinogoers who use their players’ club cards when playing slots and table games at Mississippi casinos during December. Players who accumulate the needed points in the required time can receive gifts as wine Roobet Crash charms, cookie jars, Christmas bears and cuddly critters. For earning 400 points during the month, Treasure Bay Casino in Biloxi offers a wine charm – small charms to place on the stem of a wine glass. For 600 points, players at Beau Rivage receive a snowman cookie jar; and in Vicksburg, the Isle of Capri Casino is giving away Christmas Beanie Bears to 200-point earners.

Two Hit Quartermania Jackpot

The new Quartermania progressive jackpot slot games hit twice in Nevada casinos on Sunday, paying the lucky winners over $200,000. The slot games are developed by International Gaming Technologies (IGT). According to IGT’s vice president of MegaJackpots John Sears, “These new Quartermania games are hotter than Hades, which is, well, appropriate since one of them is called Diablo Diamonds.” The first jackpot was hit Sunday morning at the Las Vegas Flamingo by Tracy Gray of North Carolina – a $226,000 Instant Winner MegaJackpots award. Then, just before midnight, James McKee of Ohio won more than $201,000 while playing Quartermania at the Stardust. The newly-revised Quartermania theme features two 3-coin, 3-line spinning reel slot games. One is Triple Texas Tea, which is based on the wildly-popular video slot, and the other is Diablo Diamond, a new spin on the classic Double-Diamond theme. Both games feature bonus rounds where the action moves to the three bonus reels where Texas Ted or Diablo announce the mounting grand total win. Quartermania also offers a “MiniMania” award that starts at $2,000.

Translation Agency UK

Certified Translation at Translation Agency UK

Your questions answered…

What is a certified translation?

How can a translation be certified?

Basic certified translation service

Certified translation service by sworn translator

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Translation Agency UK’s certified translation service.

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is a translation that has been formally verified for use in official purposes. Documents that require certified translation services might include papers that have to be submitted to an Immigration or Naturalisation department (such as birth, marriage and divorce certificates), official transcripts (such as high school certificates, university degrees and vocational training certificates), regulatory documents (such as informed consents, protocols, research data forms and case report forms), patents and many others.

How can a translation be certified?

A translation can be certified in many different ways. The service depends on the nature of the document and its usage. It is important always to check with your legal representative which of the following certifications is most relevant for your purposes.

Basic certified translation service

This is a translation to which the translator or the agency has added a statement, attesting that the target-language text is an accurate and complete translation of the source-language text.

Certified translation service by sworn translator

A certified or sworn translator is a professional who has been duly authorised by the government of the country in question to translate and notarise a document. Any certified translation produced by a sworn translator is an official document in its own right. The translation is certified with a stamped declaration which is written in the relevant language, as well as in English.

Certified translation service by affidavit

For legal proceedings such as divorces, the Translation Agency UK courts may require the translation to be certified by affidavit. This is a declaration which is made by the translator in writing and on oath before an authorised person (such as a notary public or a solicitor ) that the translation is, to the best of their knowledge, complete and accurate.

Certified translation service by apostille.

This is a certification under which a government department, usually the State Department, Justice Ministry or Foreign Ministry, authenticates a document as genuine. Once a document has been apostilled, it is automatically deemed legalised for use in another country.

Translation Agency UK’s certified translation service.

Translation Agency UK’s certified translation service provides all of the above for each set of languages. Our translators are qualified and experienced. They ensure that your documents are translated and certified accurately for acceptance by any court or government agency in the United Kingdom or abroad.


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Our certified translation service is carried out by sworn translators and legal representatives whose credentials have been thoroughly checked.


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Our certified translation service provides output that is always in tune with the tone of your material. Formal writing remains formal.


Our certified translation service is available for 12 hours a day every day of the week – including Saturday and Sunday – via email correspondence. And these hours can be extended if prior arrangements are made. We always remember that you are the client and we are always willing to accommodate your needs.


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Ravensburger Puzzles

8 Diamond Painting and Ravensburger Puzzles Techniques You’ve Never Thought of

Seasoned diamond crafters know that few things are quite as satisfying, relaxing or all-around enjoyable as spending an afternoon completing a dazzling piece of diamond artwork. While this hobby is perfect for newbies and the self-described “non-crafty” folks out there, it’s also beloved among super creative types who have been making art for ages. No matter which category you fall into, mastering a few clever new techniques will help you complete diamond art that you’ll be proud to showcase. Here are a few of our favorite tips and techniques.

1. Upgrade Your Organization—Don’t underestimate the power of a good storage system! Having all your diamonds clearly labeled and separated within arm’s reach will cut down on the time it takes to search for specific colors and prevent you from losing any tiny pieces. There are a number of brilliant ways to keep your diamonds organized, including:

Use Egg Cartons—Egg cartons are the perfect solution for separating your gems into different colors while you’re working on a big piece of diamond artwork.

Use Labeled Bags—While bags are a bit more difficult to store, they’re great because they can easily be picked up and poured into your diamond tray.

Use Small Trays—Once you’ve tried a few diamond paintings and have decided you like it, upgrade to a small craft box. We recommend bead storage trays that have self-contained compartments that you can pull out of the main box individually.

2. Make Your Workspace Mobile—While it’s nice to have a permanent place to work—such as at a desk or the dining room table—you will occasionally want to move your craft station to another area. To do this, put all your tools onto a cutting board or a large mat so you can take it from office to living room to bedroom to a friend’s house as needed.

3. Invest in a Multi-Diamond Applicator Tool—Forget the basic rhinestone applicators! Our diamond painting toolkits come with the amazing Magic Applicator and comfort grip, which allows you to work on your painting for hours at a time. The great thing about these tools is that they feature a double-sided head that either lets you pick up and apply one diamond at a time or, if you’re working on a large area of the same color, multiple rhinestones at once.

4. Start from the Top—Gravity is at play, so make sure you start from the top of the canvas and work your way to the bottom. This will make your artwork easier to transport and maneuver since you won’t be worried about the bottom being weighed down, causing rhinestones to drop or slip off.

5. Create the Perfect Workspace—Your Ravensburger Puzzles workspace is extremely important when doing any kind of artwork, so make sure to create a craft area that provides a flat surface with ample lighting. Consider investing in a light box (also known as a light pad) so you can see everything, even at night or when you’re working in low-lit environments.

6. Work in Small Sections—Don’t try to attack large sections at a time. Peel back the protective plastic sheet in sections of about 2- or 3-inch squares or cut slits in your plastic so that only a portion of the canvas is exposed. This helps prevent your hand from sticking to the adhesive in other areas.

7. Swap Out Your Wax—Our heart-shaped diamond art wax is some of the best there is, but if you feel like you want to experiment with different options, you can swap it out for Blu-Tac or another reusable adhesive that you’ll find at the craft store. This stuff also makes a great alternative if you’ve run out of wax and your local craft store doesn’t sell it.

8. Invest in the Best—If you’ve tried diamond art kits from other companies and have found that the canvas rolls, parts are missing or the color key is plain-old wrong, then you’ve got to upgrade to a better quality kit. Diamond Art Club makes the best diamond painting kits out there and addresses all the pain points of other brands, so make sure to always buy from us!

What Is Flic

Apple’s App Store is Fixin’ to Hit 10 Billion Downloads to What Is Flic

In search of a yet another milestone, the Apple app store is quickly–at a rate of about 250/second, according to their massive counter on the front page of the app store–approaching the 10 billion mark, and they’re looking to give away one big goody.

Their official statement reads: “As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 10 billionth app, and you could win a US $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Just visit the App Store, and download what could be your best app yet.”

The Apple/iTunes combo has been all about giveaways, especially ones that celebrate the 10 billionth mark. And you don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to figure out the amount of revenue the iTunes/App store combo has made: nearly 20 billion downloads at a measly $1 average would be some insane revenue–of course, it doesn’t work that way, but for something almost entirely driven by the community of developers and contributors, Apple has created a monstrosity.

Wikipedia Turns 10

Celebrating its 10th anniversary as a larger-than-life online, joint collaborated encyclopedia, Wikipedia is embracing its survival of the dot com bust and boom. Starting as nothing more than a non-profit, communal effort, Wikipedia has expanded into one of the largest collectivized sources of data and information that man has ever known–and we’re the reason for it all.

If you weren’t aware before, Wikipedia is a “open” page for thinkers, casual knowledge junkies and common folk alike to contribute articles, edit entries and collaboratively assemble knowledge and history that comes from all over the world. Critics, especially those in the field of academia, often label the site as not credible and unsuitable for use in academic research, and virtually anything that requires proper citation and attribution of sources. The claims are generally unwarranted, though–various research, as long ago as 2005, has shown that Wikipedia is comparable in accuracy to the Encyclopedia Britannica. More about What Is Flic

One thing users often overlook is just how much regulation, editing and collaboration there really is. The Wikipedia site itself is self-regulated: the servers have built-in algorithms that detect changes to popular, preserved articles–”Abraham Lincoln,” for example–and can remove blanking, factual inaccuracy and any sort of malicious activity in as quick as a few minutes, but some times can take hours for articles that are less regulated or not as preserved.

Credibility aside, it’s nearly impossible to refute the overall contribution that Wikipedia has made in terms of raw, accessible information at a moment’s notice. After all, most of us just Google a phrase in order to go straight to Wikipedia.

Bitcoin Dice

Klinsmann’s Germany: One Year and Counting Bitcoin Dice

“Chin Up Lads! We’ll get them next time,” said the defiantly optimistic headline. “We’ll meet again Brazil, on the 9th of July 2006 in Berlin,” said another.

The host nation’s exit on Saturday against an unarguably superior Brazil has needless to say provoked a round of never-say-die patriotism in the German press, but also a thinly-veiled admission that Germany badly needs to up its game in order to win next year’s World Cup in front of their home fans with time running out.

“Yes Germany can win the World Cup next summer,” said coach Jurgen Klinsmann to reporters after the game, but what else could he have said? Former coach Rudi Voller and current captain Michael Ballack echoed the ‘We can do it, Deutschland!’ cries and even wise old Franz Beckenbauer was made to stand up and be counted on TV this week. When asked who might win the Confederations Cup he answered cautiously that Brazil and Argentina would be tough nuts to crack. When the show’s host continued to press him for a soundbite he obligingly replied “OK, Germany,” to the delight of the studio audience but no doubt to his own regret. Media outlets are more loyal to their sales than to the facts and many feel they will lose readers if they appear even remotely unpatriotic at a time like this.

They can point to facts to justify their optimism: Losing 2-3 was one goal closer to the Brazilians than the Germans got in 2002 and the team did come back twice to equalise. Germany will surely not be lacking in such commitment and motivation next summer and the lesson of most World Cups is that the host nation, buoyed by the country’s fervour, can ride on a sea of support and overachieve. South Korea’s unexpected surge to the 2002 Semi-Final was only the latest example of this.

They will certainly need all the external factors they can muster to help them defeat Brazil next year. The World Champions can play lazily, can concede two to the Japanese and the Germans and even lose a game to Mexico but there they are in the Confederations Cup Final, favourites to win. In Kaka, Robinho, Adriano and skipper Ronaldinho they have four world-class performers, four fantasistas capable of coming up with moments of amazing skill to win games.

With the best will in the world, Germany’s NationalMannschaft does not have such players, Ballack apart. Indeed the Bayern Munich star seems so key to the hosts’ survival in next year’s tournament they should watch him 24/7 in case he trips over anything in the house and gets injured.

Saturday’s team that lost to Brazil will be improved with the return of the bold, though still fresh-faced attacking flair of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dortmund’s centre-back Christoph Metzelder should provide more sturdy coverage in defense than Chelsea’s Robert Huth, who was taken to the cleaners by Adriano, “one moment a giant in defence, the next a weakling” according to Germany’s Express. In addition the return of Stuttgart’s Philipp Lahm, one of the best full-backs in Europe who had an impressive Euro 2004, will reassure the less than comfortable looking back line.

Beyond them though Bitcoin Dice, the menu looks meagre with no obvious young stars looking ready to make the grade. The attack looks particularly mediocre although the Germans will heed the lesson of France, who won in 1998 without a recognizable marksman of any quality. Lukas Podolski netted twice this tournament and should start up front with Kevin Kuranyi or Gerald Asamoah next summer but still looks far from exceptional. The only other recognizable striker Mike Hanke does not seem up to this level yet. Aston Villa’s Stuttgart-bound Thomas Hitzlsperger is surely worth a look, with his long-range potshots a useful weapon, but disappointingly for him, he was used sparingly in this warm-up tournament.

Where have the German Strikers gone?

So, Klinsmann will be relying on old hands Torsten Frings and Bernt Schneider as defensive midfielders to get stuck in and regain possession whilst Sebastian Deisler will run his socks off at both ends of the field, whip dangerous crosses in to the strikers or feed Ballack and Schweinsteiger in the hope they can create a chance.

At the other end, for Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann read Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton before the 1982 World Cup. Bayern’s veteran is still officially number one according to Klinsmann but he will continue to rotate the two, implying he is still to make up his mind whether to stay loyal to Kahn or employ the Arsenal keeper, who was more impressive this tournament.

Overall though, Germany is still living through a lean spell by their high standards. Since Klinsmann himself lifted the Euro ’96 trophy, the country with the greatest record of reaching finals has been on the slide and another mediocre showing at Euro 2004 provided little hope for next year’s World Cup. After a first-round exit in Portugal, the impressive achievement of reaching 2002’s World Cup Final then looked less so, and rather due to an undeserved seeding that kept them away from the big boys and gave them the not so big Paraguay, the USA and South Korea to hurdle to reach the final.

The fact is that Germany have not defeated a major footballing nation for some time, their 1-0 win at Wembley in 2000. The last time they won the World Cup, at Italia ’90, they possessed the superb left-back Andreas Brehme and his Inter colleagues Lothar Matthaus, one of the greatest ever midfield generals and Klinsmann himself to call upon. Their midfield, Matthaus apart, had the creative class of Thomas Hassler and the dribbling skills of Pierre Littbarski to call upon. The towering defence of Jurgen Kohler, Thomas Berthold, Guido Buchwald and Klaus Augenthaler looked a lot firmer than today’s and in Rudi Voller and Karl-Heinz Riedle Germany had two more deadly, world-class strikers. In short, they were a world class team who looked likely winners from the start.

As they prepare for the 3rd place play off with Mexico by indulging in some beach volleyball and basketball, today’s German squad should feel somewhat relaxed at not having disgraced themselves and knowing a year is still a long time in football. At the same time, though, they are a pale shadow of the last German World Cup-winning team that featured Klinsmann and with an envious eye on the wizardry of Kaka & co., will be pondering what they can do to combat the late FIFA President Stanley Rous’ maxim that, “There is no substitute for skill.”