The Dark Side of P2P File Sharing ProgramsWritten by Bill Paulk
P2P file sharing programs are free. Period. But there are P2P scam sites out there that want you to pay them instead. P2P scam sites are rogue companies that have set up shop to fleece unsuspecting music downloaders looking for file sharing programs by charging a fee for an otherwise free service. No P2P file sharing software costs money. Exceptions would be a site asking members to make a monetary donation to help pay for bandwidth, hosting costs, and other administrative costs. Some P2P file sharing programs offer "pro" versions of their free software. But again, their basic service is free to public. I want you to fully understand this, because paying a P2P scam site money can not only make your wallet a bit lighter, it can also make your computer vulnerable to dangerous spyware. That's right. These scam sites are only interested in making money off you. As well as actually taking your money by fooling you into paying them, they'll make money off you by installing spyware on your PC, so that they can get paid by sharing your online habits and personal information with others. For music download beginners, all of this can be very confusing. Why? Because these scam sites advertise all over Internet. Search engines return results chockful of these scams alongside real P2P file sharing programs; their banner ads riddle Internet landscape; sites are promoting these scams to get their piece of your money. Most real P2P programs don't advertise much on Internet. The reason is that they're not money makers. It takes money to advertise, and who has more money--the free P2P file sharing programs or scam artists? You guessed it. P2P relies on word of mouth. The scam sites rely primarily on advertising.
How Can I Tell a P2P Scam Site? This is easy part, if you know what you're looking for. P2P scam sites often use phrases like 100% Legal, which is absolutely untrue. This is a trick they use to prey on people interested in P2P file sharing programs, but who are worried (rightly) about Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits. Keep in mind that sharing and downloading of copyrighted files is, at this moment, an illegal activity. Another tactic is to use fake endorsements and recommendations from legitimate companies. Other cons are to use phrases like Direct Downloads!, Get Access Now!, Download Unlimited Free Music!, and other phrases that are promising you things they absolutely CANNOT deliver.
How Does It Work & How are They Doing It? To be honest, I do not know ins and outs of P2P scam sites. But I know this: all P2P file sharing programs are free. Think about it a moment. It is because music files are being shared free of charge (without artists receiving royalties) that organizations like RIAA are mad and suing. These P2P scam sites are merely taking your money, downloading a little spyware to your PC, then connecting you to one of real P2P file sharing programs. This is all convoluted by nature of P2P, which is a series of servers networking files to one another. Unless you're buying your music MP3 downloads from a legitimate company, either per song/album or through a monthly subscription, you cannot be sure where your music is coming from.
A European ChristmasWritten by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot
A European Christmas by C. Bailey-Lloyd
With holidays right around corner, it's hard not to reminisce our childhood memories and holidays of yesteryear. In each culture, there are differing values and traditions which are celebrated in different ways.
During 70's, growing up 'German' in Europe was one of most fascinating and magical decades. Having strong German roots, our family participated in many German Christmas traditions. One of those traditions was Advent. The Advent, or Christmas calendar, is picture-box calendar decorated with wintry & Christmas scenes, biblical characters and 'St. Nicolas.' On face of calendar, are 24 small doors, each containing a small chocolate - one opened each day for holiday season. The December 24th door, which is 'Heiligabend' (Christmas Eve) is usually largest door on calendar and most often contains a chocolate Nativity. As children, we relished in this fun, and tasty feature of holiday season.
But Advent wasn't simply comprised of Holiday Calendar, we also partook in Advent Wreath, or 'Adventskranz' which was beautifully displayed on tables throughout house. Wreathes held 4 candles; first candle being lit fourth Sunday before Christmas, and another one each Sunday thereafter. Around evergreen wreath of candles, our family would gather as each candle was meticulously lit. My mom would recite a simple, German passage each time she would light a candle:
"Advent, Advent Ein Kerzlein brent. Erst Eins, den Zwei, den Drei, den Vier - den steht der Christkind vor der tur."
Which translates into, 'Advent, Advent, a candle burns. First one, then two, then three, then four - then stands Christ Child before door.'
For you see, in Germany, it is 'Christkind' (Christ Child) who brings gifts on Christmas Eve.
Another childhood pastime was St. Nikolaustag Nikolaustag (St. Nicholas Day) was a fun and lighthearted tradition whereby children everywhere anxiously awaited arrival of December 6th when Nikolaus, or Weinachtsmann (Santa Claus) came. Leading up to Nikolaustag, we children would have to behave very well, because St. Nikolaus could 'see everything' we did. And night before December 6th, we would have to clean our winter boots meticulously to put outside our doors. Why heck would we clean our boots and place them outside our doors? Well, I'll tell you why - if we were good, and our boots were really clean, St. Nikolaus would stuff our boots with candies, little toys and chocolates. If we were bad, we would receive a bundle of switches or lumps of coal.