Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it "ranks," the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. As a marketing strategy for increasing a site's relevancy, SEO considers how search algorithms work and what people search for. SEO efforts may involve a site's coding, presentation, and structure, as well as fixing problems that could prevent search engine indexing programs from fully spidering a site. Other, more noticeable efforts may include adding unique content to a site, and making sure that the content is easily indexed by search engines and also appeals to human visitors. The acronym "SEO" can also refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems and shopping carts that are easy to optimize.

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There are several uses of the word survey, relating to two primary meanings: surveys to record the position of items or fixed points on Earth and beyond, such as astronomical surveys, bird surveys, and the broad field of land surveying; and statistical surveys estimating the number of people or other items, such as animals, organisations, or messages. Population censuses are statistical surveys which attempt to include every item in the population. The names of some scientific organisations incorporate the word "Survey", even though they do not primarily conduct surveys.

Bank account

A bank account is a monetary account with a banking institution recording the balance of money for a customer. Bank accounts may have a positive or credit balance where the bank holds money on behalf of the customer; or a negative or debit balance where the customer owes the bank money. Broadly, accounts opened with the purpose of holding credit balances are referred to as deposit accounts; whilst accounts opened with the purpose of holding debit balances are referred to as loan accounts. Some accounts are defined by their function rather than nature of the balance they hold. Bank accounts designed to process large numbers of transactions may offer credit and debit facilities and therefore do not sit easily with a polarised definition. These transactional accounts are called by different names in different countries: in the U.S. and Canada, they are checking accounts, in the UK current accounts.


Fundamental principles of law by which a government is created and a country is administered. In Western democratic theory, a mandate from the people in their sovereign capacity, concerning how they shall be governed. Distinguished from a Statute, which is a rule decided by legislative representatives and is subject to limitations of the constitution. constitution, fundamental principles of government in a nation, either implied in its laws, institutions, and customs, or embodied in one fundamental document or in several. In the first category—customary and unwritten constitutions—is the British constitution, which is contained implicitly in the whole body of common and statutory law of the realm, and in the practices and traditions of the government. Because it can be modified by an ordinary act of Parliament, the British constitution is often termed flexible. This enables Britain to react quickly to any constitutional emergency, but it affords no fundamental protections of civil or personal liberty, or any areas in which parliamentary legislation is expressly forbidden. The theory of the social contract, developed in the 17th cent. by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, was fundamental to the development of the modern constitution. The Constitution of the United States, written in 1787 and ratified in 1789, was the first important written constitution, and a model for a vast number of subsequent constitutional documents. Though to a large extent based on the principles and practices of the British constitution, the Constitution of the United States has superior sanction to the ordinary laws of the land, interpreted through a process of judicial review that passes judgment on the constitutionality of subsequent legislation, and that is subject to a specially prescribed process of amendment. The rigidity of its written format has been counterbalanced by growth and usage: in particular, statutory elaboration (see Congress of the United States) and judicial construction (see Supreme Court, United States, and Marshall, John) have kept the written document abreast of the times. But a written constitution, without a commitment to its principles and civil justice, has often proved to be a temporary or rapidly reversed gesture. In the 18th, 19th, and 20th cent., many countries, having made sharp political and economic departures from the past, had little legal custom to rely upon and therefore set forth their organic laws in written constitutions—some of which are judicially enforced. Adolf Hitler never formally abolished the constitution of the Weimar Republic, and the protections of personal liberties contained in the Soviet constitution of 1936 proved to be empty promises. Since the 1960s, many of the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa have adopted written constitutions, often on the model of the American, British, or French constitutions.


In early December 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian physical education student and instructor at YMCA Training School[1] (today, Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot (3.05 m) elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, so balls scored into the basket had to be poked out with a long dowel each time. A soccer ball was used to shoot goals. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, they would give their team a point. Whichever team got the most points won the game.[2] Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in Spring 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a Canadian children's game called "Duck on a Rock", as many had failed before it. Naismith called the new game 'Basket Ball'.[3] The first official basketball game was played in the YMCA gymnasium on January 20, 1892 with nine players, on a court just half the size of a present-day National Basketball Association (NBA) court. "Basket ball", the name suggested by one of Naismith's students, was popular from the beginning. Women's basketball began in 1892 at Smith College when Senda Berenson, a physical education teacher, modified Naismith's rules for women. Basketball's early adherents were dispatched to YMCAs throughout the United States, and it quickly spread through the USA and Canada. By 1895, it was well established at several women's high schools. While the YMCA was responsible for initially developing and spreading the game, within a decade it discouraged the new sport, as rough play and rowdy crowds began to detract from the YMCA's primary mission. However, other amateur sports clubs, colleges, and professional clubs quickly filled the void. In the years before World War I, the Amateur Athletic Union and the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (forerunner of the NCAA) vied for control over the rules for the game. Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Dribbling, the bouncing of the ball up and down while moving, was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling only became a major part of the game around the 1950s as manufacturing improved the ball shape. Basketball, netball, dodgeball, volleyball, and lacrosse are the only ball games which have been identified as being invented by North Americans. Other ball games, such as baseball and Canadian football, have Commonwealth of Nations, European, Asian or African connections. Although there is no direct evidence as yet that the idea of basketball came from the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame, knowledge of that game had been available for at least 50 years prior to Naismith's creation in the writings of John Lloyd Stephens and Alexander von Humboldt. Stephen's works especially, which included drawings by Frederick Catherwood, were available at most educational institutions in the 19th century and also had wide popular circulation.

Football History

Games revolving around the kicking of a ball have been played in many countries throughout history. According to FIFA, the "very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise of precisely this skilful technique dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. in China."[4] In addition, the Roman game Harpastum may be a distant ancestor of football. Various forms of football were played in medieval Europe, though rules varied greatly by both period and location. Whilst football has continued to be played in various forms throughout the United Kingdom, the English public schools (fee-paying schools) are widely credited with certain key achievements in the creation of modern football (association football and the rugby football games — rugby league and rugby union football). During the sixteenth century English public schools generally, and headmaster Richard Mulcaster in particular, were instrumental in taking football away from its violent "mob" form and turning it into an organised team sport that was beneficial to schoolboys. Thereafter, the game became institutionalised, regulated, and part of a larger, more central tradition. Many early descriptions of football and references to it (e.g., in poetry) were recorded by people who had studied at these schools, showing they were familiar with the game. Finally, in the 19th century, teachers and former students were the first to write down formal rules of early modern football to enable matches to be played between schools. The rules of football as they are codified today are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played at the public schools of England. The first ever set of football rules were written at Eton College in 1815. The Cambridge Rules were a code of football rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, which have influenced the development of Association football and subsequent codes. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1848, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Shrewsbury schools, but they were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world to play various forms of football. Some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club (formed by former pupils from Harrow) in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised an influential set of rules. These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association (The FA) in 1863 which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemason's Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse. The Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which eventually produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby football clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA, or subsequently left the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under the charge of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, went on to ratify the original thirteen laws of the game. These rules included handling of the ball by "marks" and the lack of a crossbar, rules which made it remarkably similar to Victorian rules football being developed at that time in Australia. The Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games. The laws of the game are currently determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The Board was formed in 1886 after a meeting in Manchester of The Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, and the Irish Football Association. The world's oldest football competition is the FA Cup, which was founded by C. W. Alcock and has been contested by English teams since 1872. The first official international football match took place in 1872 between Scotland and England in Glasgow, again at the instigation of C. W. Alcock. England is home to the world's first football league, which was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. The original format contained 12 clubs from the Midlands and the North of England. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international football body, was formed in Paris in 1904 and declared that they would adhere to Laws of the Game of the Football Association. The growing popularity of the international game led to the admittance of FIFA representatives to the International Football Association Board in 1913. The board currently consists of four representatives from FIFA and one representative from each of the four British associations. Today, football is played at a professional level all over the world, and millions of people regularly go to football stadia to follow their favourite team, whilst billions more watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level. According to a survey conducted by FIFA and published in the spring of 2001, over 240 million people regularly play football in more than 200 countries in every part of the world. Its simple rules and minimal equipment requirements have no doubt aided its spread and growth in popularity. In many parts of the world football evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations; it is therefore often claimed to be the most popular sport in the world. ESPN has spread the claim that the Côte d'Ivoire national football team helped secure a truce to the nation's civil war in 2005. By contrast, however, football is widely considered to be the final proximate cause in the Football War in June 1969 between El Salvador and Honduras. The sport also exacerbated tensions at the beginning of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, when a match between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade devolved into rioting in March 1990.


Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players each. It is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world.[1] A ball game, it is played on a rectangular grass field, or occasionally on artificial turf, with a goal at each end of the field. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing goal; only the goalkeepers may use their hands or arms to propel the ball in general play; the rest of the team generally uses their feet to kick the ball into position, though occasionally they may use their torso or head to intercept a ball in mid air. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition. The modern game was codified in England following the formation of the Football Association, whose 1863 Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the sport is played today. Football is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football), which is commonly known by the acronym FIFA. The most prestigious international football competition is the World Cup, held every four years. This event, the most widely viewed and famous in the world, boasts an audience twice that of the Summer Olympics.

Types of money

In economics, money is a broad term that refers to any instrument that can be used in the resolution of debt. However, not all money is created equal. One theoretician, Ludwig von Mises, argued for the importance of distinguishing between three types of money: commodity money, fiat money, and credit money. Each carries different economic strengths and liabilities - a point driven home in his book The Theory of Money and Credit. Modern monetary theory also distinguishes between different types of money, using a categorization system that focuses on the liquidity of money. Commodity money Commodity money is any money that is both used as a general purpose medium of exchange and as a tradable commodity in its own right.[2] Commodity based currencies are often viewed as more stable, but this is not always the case. The value of a commodity based currency as a medium of exchange depends on its supply relative to other goods and services available in the economy. Historically, gold, silver and other metals commonly used in commodity based monetary systems have been subject to regular and sometimes extraordinary fluctuations in purchasing power. This not only damages its stability as a medium of exchange; it also reduces its effectiveness as a store of value. In the 1500 and 1600's huge quantities of gold and even larger amounts of silver were discovered in the New World and brought back to Europe for conversion into coin, the purchasing power of those coins fell by 60% to 80%, i.e. prices of commodities rose, because the supply of goods for sale did not keep pace with the increased supply of money.[3] In addition, the relative value of silver to gold shifted dramatically downward.[4] More recently, from 1980 to 2001, gold was a particularly poor store of value, as gold prices dropped from a high of $850/oz. to a low of $255/oz. The advantage of gold and silver, however, lies in the fact that, unlike fiat paper currency, the supply cannot be increased arbitrarily by a central bank. It is also possible for the trading value of a commodity money to be greater than its value as a medium of exchange. When this happens people will often start melting down coins and reselling the metal used to make them. This has happened periodically in the United States, eventually causing it to move away from pure silver nickels and pure copper pennies.[citation needed] Shipping coins from one jurisdiction to another so that they could be reminted was sometimes a lucrative trade before the advent of trusted paper money.[citation needed] Commodity money's ability to function as a store of value is also limited by its very nature. Copper and tin risk rust and corrosion. Gold and silver are soft metals that can lose weight through scratches and abrasions. Stability aside, commodity based currencies are limiting in a rapidly growing or very active economy. The supply of money in an economy must be equal or greater than the volume of trade. If commodities are used as money, then the money supply must equal the total amount of goods and services sold. In a large economy, the volume of trade can easily outstrip the supply of any one commodity. This problem is compounded by the fact that money also serves as a store of value. This encourages hoarding and takes the commodity money out circulation, reducing the supply. The supply of circulating commodity currency is further reduced by the fact that commodity moneys also have competing non-monetary uses. For example, gold and silver is used in jewelery and nickel and copper have important industrial uses. Commodity based currencies also limit the geographic extent of the trading market. To make large purchases either a large volume or a high weight or both of the commodity must be transported to the seller. The cost of transportation of the currency raises the transaction cost and makes long distance sales less attractive. Fiat money Fiat money is any money whose value is determined by legal means rather than the relative availability of goods and services. Fiat money may be symbolic of a commodity or government promises.[2] Fiat money provides solutions to several limitations of commodity money. Depending on the laws, there may be little or no need to physically transport the money - an electronic exchange may be sufficient. Its sole use is as a medium of exchange so its supply is not limited by competing alternate uses. It can be printed without limit, so there is no limit on trade volumes. Fiat money, especially in the form of paper or coins, can be easily damaged or destroyed. However, it has has an advantage over commodity money in that the same laws that created the money can also define rules for its replacement in case of damage or destruction. For example, the US government will replace mutilated paper money if at least half of the bill can be reconstructed.[5]. By contrast commodity money is gone for good. Paper money is especially vulnerable to everyday hazards: from fire, water, termites, and simple wear and tear. Money in the form of minted coins is sometimes destroyed by children placing it on railroad tracks or in amusement park machines that restamp it. In order to reduce replacement costs, many countries are converting to plastic bills. For example, Mexico has changed its twenty and fifty pesos notes, Singapore its $2 and $10 bills, Malaysia with $1,$5,$10,$50 and $100, and Australia and New Zealand their $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 to plastic for the increased durability. Some of the benefits of fiat money can be a double-edged sword. For example, if the amount of money in active circulation outstrips the available goods and services for sale, the effect can be inflationary. This can easily happen if governments print money without attention to the level of economic activity or counterfeiters are allowed to flourish. Perhaps the biggest criticism of paper money relates to the fact that its stability is highly dependent on the stability of the legal system backing the currency. Should the legal system fail, so would the currency that depends on it. Credit money Credit money is any claim against a physical or legal person that can be used for the purchase of goods and services[2]. Credit money differs from commodity and fiat money in two important ways: It is not payable on demand and there is some element of risk that the real value upon fulfillment of the claim will not be equal to real value expected at the time of purchase[2]. This risk comes about in two ways and affects both buyer and seller. First it is a claim and the claimant may default (not pay). High levels of default have destructive supply side effects. If manufacturers and service providers do not receive payment for the goods they produce, they will not have the resources to buy the labor and materials needed to produce new goods and services. This reduces supply, increases prices and raises unemployment, possibly triggering a period of stagflation. In extreme cases, widespread defaults can cause a lack of confidence in lending institutions and lead to economic depression. For example, abuse of credit arrangements is considered one of the significant causes of the Great Depression of the 1930s. [6] The second source of risk is time. Credit money is a promise of future payment. If the interest rate on the claim fails to compensate for the combined impact of the inflation (or deflation) rate and the time value of money, the seller will receive less real value than anticipated. If the interest rate on the claim overcompensates, the buyer will pay more than expected. Over the last two centuries, credit money has steadily risen as the main source of money creation, progressively replacing first commodity then fiat money. The main problem with credit money is that its supply moves in line with credit booms and bust. When lenders are optimistic (notably when the debt level is low), they increase their lendings activity, thus creating new money and triggering inflation, when they are pessimistic (for instance because the debt level is perceived as so high that defaults can only follow), they reduce their lending activities, bankrupcies and deflation follows. Money supply The money supply is the amount of money available within a specific economy available for purchasing goods or services. The supply in the US is usually considered as four escalating categories M0, M1, M2 and M3. The categories grow in size with M3 representing all forms of money (including credit) and M0 being just base money (coins, bills, and central bank deposits). M0 is also money that can satisfy private banks' reserve requirements. In the US, the Federal Reserve is responsible for controlling the money supply, while in the Euro area the respective institution is the ECB. Other central banks with significant impact on global finances are the Bank of Japan, People's Bank of China and the Bank of England. When gold is used as money, the money supply can grow in either of two ways. First, the money supply can increase as the amount of gold increases by new gold mining at about 2% per year, but it can also increase more during periods of gold rushes and discoveries, such as when Columbus discovered the new world and brought gold back to Spain, or when gold was discovered in California in 1848. This kind of increase helps debtors, and causes inflation, as the value of gold goes down. Second, the money supply can increase when the value of gold goes up. This kind of increase in the value of gold helps savers and creditors and is called deflation, where items for sale are increasingly less expensive in terms of gold. Deflation was the more typical situation for over a century when gold and credit money backed by gold were used as money in the US from 1792 to 1913. Monetary policy Monetary policy is the process by which a government, central bank, or monetary authority manages the money supply to achieve specific goals. Usually the goal of monetary policy is to accommodate economic growth in an environment of stable prices. For example, it is clearly stated in the Federal Reserve Act that the Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee should seek “to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” [7] A failed monetary policy can have significant detrimental effects on an economy and the society that depends on it. These include hyperinflation, stagflation, recession, high unemployment, shortages on imported goods, inability to export goods, and even total monetary collapse and the adoption of a much less efficient barter economy. This happened in Russia, for instance, after the fall of the Soviet Union. Governments and central banks have taken both regulatory and free market approaches to monetary policy. Some of the various tools used to control the money supply include: currency purchases or sales increasing or lowering government spending increasing or lowering government borrowing changing the rate at which the government loans or borrows money manipulation of exchange rates taxation or tax breaks on imports or exports of capital into a country raising or lowering bank reserve requirements regulation or prohibition of private currencies For many years much of monetary policy was influenced by an economic theory known as monetarism. Monetarism is an economic theory which argues that management of the money supply should be the primary means of regulating economic activity. The stability of the demand for money prior to the 1980s was a key finding of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz [8] supported by the work of David Laidler[9], and many others. Technical, institutional, and legal changes changed the nature of the demand for money during the 1980s and the influence of monetarism has since decreased.

Economic characteristics

Money is generally considered to have the following characteristics, which are summed up in a rhyme found in older economics textbooks and a primer: "Money is a matter of functions four, a medium, a measure, a standard, a store." There have been many historical arguments regarding the combination of money's functions, some arguing that they need more separation and that a single unit is insufficient to deal with them all. 'Financial capital' is a more general and inclusive term for all liquid instruments, whether or not they are a uniformly recognized tender. Medium of exchange A medium of exchange is an intermediary used in trade. An effective medium of exchange should have the following characteristics: It should also be recognizable as something of value. Person A should recognize the value of the item so that Person B can give it to A in exchange for goods or services. It should be easily transportable; precious metals have a high value to weight ratio. This is why oil, coal, vermiculite, or water are not suitable as money even though they are valuable. Paper notes have proved highly convenient in this regard. It should be durable. Money is often left in pockets through the wash. Some countries (such as Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Singapore) are making their bank notes out of plastic for increased durability. Gold coins are often mixed with copper to improve durability. Unit of account A unit of account is a standard numerical unit of measurement of the market value of goods, services, and other transactions. Also known as a "measure" or "standard" of relative worth and deferred payment, a unit of account is a necessary pre-requisite for the formulation of commercial agreements that involve debt. An effective unit of account should be: Divisible into small units without destroying its value; precious metals can be coined from bars, or melted down into bars again. Fungible: that is, one unit or piece must be exactly equivalent to another, which is why diamonds, works of art or real estate are not suitable as money. A specific weight, or measure, or size to be verifiably countable. For instance, coins are often made with ridges around the edges, so that any removal of material from the coin (lowering its commodity value) will be easy to detect. Store of value To act as a store of value, a commodity, a form of money, or financial capital must be able to be reliably saved, stored, and retrieved - and be predictably useful when it is so retrieved. Fiat currency like paper or electronic currency no longer backed by gold in most countries is not considered by some economists to be a storage of value. An effective store of value should have the following characteristics: It should be long lasting and durable; it must not be perishable or subject to decay. This is why food items, expensive spices, or even fine silks or oriental rugs are not generally suitable as money. It should have a stable value. It should be difficult to counterfeit, and the genuine must be easily recognizable. Market liquidity The fourth and final function of money, as a means of liquidity. It is important for any economy to move beyond a simple system of bartering. Liquidity describes how easy it is an item can be traded for something that you want, or into the common currency within an economy. Money is the most liquid asset because it is universally recognised and accepted as the common currency. In this way, money gives consumers the freedom to trade goods and services easily without having to barter. Liquid financial instruments are easily tradable and have a low transaction costs. There should be no or minimal spread between the prices to buy and sell the instrument being used as money.


Money is any good or tokens that functions as a medium of exchange that is socially and legally accepted in payment for goods and services and in settlement of debts. Money also serves as a standard of value for measuring the relative worth of different goods and services and as a store of value. Some authors explicitly require money to be a standard of deferred payment.[1] Money is central to the study of economics and forms its most cogent link to finance. In common usage, money refers more specifically to currency, particularly the many circulating currencies with legal tender status conferred by a national state; deposit accounts denominated in such currencies are also considered part of the money supply, although these characteristics are historically comparatively recent. Money may also serve as a means of rationing access to scarce resources and as a quantitative measure that provides a common standard for the comparison and valuation of quality as well as quantity, such as in the valuation of real estate or artistic works. The use of money provides an easier alternative to barter, which is considered in a modern, complex economy to be inefficient because it requires a coincidence of wants between traders, and an agreement that these needs are of equal value, before a transaction can occur. The efficiency gains through the use of money are thought to encourage trade and the division of labour, in turn increasing productivity and wealth.


The word ceramic is derived from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos). The term covers inorganic non-metallic materials whose formation is due to the action of heat. Up until the 1950s or so, the most important of these were the traditional clays, made into pottery, bricks, tiles and are like, along with cements and glass. Clay based ceramics are described in the article on pottery. A composite material of ceramic and metal is known as cermet. The word ceramic can be an adjective, and can also be used as a noun to refer to a ceramic material, or a product of ceramic manufacture. Ceramics is a singular noun referring to the art of making things out of ceramic materials. The technology of manufacturing and usage of ceramic materials is part of the field of ceramic engineering. Many ceramic materials are hard, porous and brittle. The study and development of ceramics includes methods to mitigate problems associated with these characteristics, and to accentuate the strengths of the materials as well as to investigate novel applications. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines a ceramic article as “an article having a glazed or unglazed body of crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or of glass, which body is produced from essentially inorganic, non-metallic substances and either is formed from a molten mass which solidifies on cooling, or is formed and simultaneously or subsequently matured by the action of the heat.” Classification of technical ceramics Technical ceramics can also be classified into three distinct material categories: Oxides: Alumina, zirconia Non-oxides: Carbides, borides, nitrides, silicides Composites: Particulate reinforced, combinations of oxides and non-oxides. Each one of these classes can develop unique material properties Examples of technical ceramics Barium titanate (often mixed with strontium titanate) displays ferroelectricity, meaning that its mechanical, electrical, and thermal responses are coupled to one another and also history-dependent. It is widely used in electromechanical transducers, ceramic capacitors, and data storage elements. Grain boundary conditions can create PTC effects in heating elements. Bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide, a high-temperature superconductor Boron carbide (B4C), which is used in ceramic plates in some personnel, helicopter and tank armor. Boron nitride is structurally isoelectronic to carbon and takes on similar physical forms: a graphite-like one used as a lubricant, and a diamond-like one used as an abrasive. Ferrite (Fe3O4), which is ferrimagnetic and is used in the magnetic cores of electrical transformers and magnetic core memory. Lead zirconate titanate is another ferroelectric material. Magnesium diboride (MgB2), which is an unconventional superconductor. Silicon carbide (SiC), which is used as a susceptor in microwave furnaces, a commonly used abrasive, and as a refractory material. Silicon nitride (Si3N4), which is used as an abrasive powder. Steatite is used as an electrical insulator. Uranium oxide (UO2), used as fuel in nuclear reactors. Yttrium barium copper oxide (YBa2Cu3O7-x), another high temperature superconductor. Zinc oxide (ZnO), which is a semiconductor, and used in the construction of varistors. Zirconium dioxide (zirconia), which in pure form undergoes many phase changes between room temperature and practical sintering temperatures, can be chemically "stabilized" in several different forms. Its high oxygen ion conductivity recommends it for use in fuel cells. In another variant, metastable structures can impart transformation toughening for mechanical applications; most ceramic knife blades are made of this material. Properties of ceramics Mechanical properties Ceramic materials are usually ionic or covalently-bonded materials, and can be crystalline or amorphous. A material held together by either type of bond will tend to fracture before any plastic deformation takes place, which results in poor toughness in these materials. Additionally, because these materials tend to be porous, the pores and other microscopic imperfections act as stress concentrators, decreasing the toughness further, and reducing the tensile strength. These combine to give catastrophic failures, as opposed to the normally much more gentle failure modes of metals. These materials do show plastic deformation. However, due to the rigid structure of the crystalline materials, there are very few available slip systems for dislocations to move, and so they deform very slowly. With the non-crystalline (glassy) materials, viscous flow is the dominant source of plastic deformation, and is also very slow. It is therefore neglected in many applications of ceramic materials. Electrical properties Semiconductors There are a number of ceramics that are semiconductors. Most of these are transition metal oxides that are II-VI semiconductors, such as zinc oxide. While there is talk of making blue LEDs from zinc oxide, ceramicists are most interested in the electrical properties that show grain boundary effects. One of the most widely used of these is the varistor. These are devices that exhibit the property that resistance drops sharply at a certain threshold voltage. Once the voltage across the device reaches the threshold, there is a breakdown of the electrical structure in the vicinity of the grain boundaries, which results in its electrical resistance dropping from several megohms down to a few hundred ohms. The major advantage of these is that they can dissipate a lot of energy, and they self reset — after the voltage across the device drops below the threshold, its resistance returns to being high. This makes them ideal for surge-protection applications. As there is control over the threshold voltage and energy tolerance, they find use in all sorts of applications. The best demonstration of their ability can be found in electrical substations, where they are employed to protect the infrastructure from lightning strikes. They have rapid response, are low maintenance, and do not appreciably degrade from use, making them virtually ideal devices for this application. Semiconducting ceramics are also employed as gas sensors. When various gases are passed over a polycrystalline ceramic, its electrical resistance changes. With tuning to the possible gas mixtures, very inexpensive devices can be produced. Superconductivity Under some conditions, such as extremely low temperature, some ceramics exhibit superconductivity. The exact reason for this is not known, but there are two major families of superconducting ceramics. Ferroelectricity and supersets Piezoelectricity, a link between electrical and mechanical response, is exhibited by a large number of ceramic materials, including the quartz used to measure time in watches and other electronics. Such devices use both properties of piezoelectrics, using electricity to produce a mechanical motion (powering the device) and then using this mechanical motion to produce electricity (generating a signal). The unit of time measured is the natural interval required for electricity to be converted into mechanical energy and back again. The piezoelectric effect is generally stronger in materials that also exhibit pyroelectricity, and all pyroelectric materials are also piezoelectric. These materials can be used to inter convert between thermal, mechanical, and/or electrical energy; for instance, after synthesis in a furnace, a pyroelectric crystal allowed to cool under no applied stress generally builds up a static charge of thousands of volts. Such materials are used in motion sensors, where the tiny rise in temperature from a warm body entering the room is enough to produce a measurable voltage in the crystal. In turn, pyroelectricity is seen most strongly in materials which also display the ferroelectric effect, in which a stable electric dipole can be oriented or reversed by applying an electrostatic field. Pyroelectricity is also a necessary consequence of ferroelectricity. This can be used to store information in ferroelectric capacitors, elements of ferroelectric RAM. The most common such materials are lead zirconate titanate and barium titanate. Aside from the uses mentioned above, their strong piezoelectric response is exploited in the design of high-frequency loudspeakers, transducers for sonar, and actuators for atomic force and scanning tunneling microscopes. Positive thermal coefficient Increases in temperature can cause grain boundaries to suddenly become insulating in some semiconducting ceramic materials, mostly mixtures of heavy metal titanates. The critical transition temperature can be adjusted over a wide range by variations in chemistry. In such materials, current will pass through the material until joule heating brings it to the transition temperature, at which point the circuit will be broken and current flow will cease. Such ceramics are used as self-controlled heating elements in, for example, the rear-window defrost circuits of automobiles. At the transition temperature, the material's dielectric response becomes theoretically infinite. While a lack of temperature control would rule out any practical use of the material near its critical temperature, the dielectric effect remains exceptionally strong even at much higher temperatures. Titanates with critical temperatures far below room temperature have become synonymous with "ceramic" in the context of ceramic capacitors for just this reason.


The scientific definition of a machine is any device that transmits or modifies energy(i.e. input). In common usage, the meaning is restricted to devices having rigid moving parts that perform or assist in performing some work. Machines normally require some energy source ("input") and always accomplish some sort of work. Devices with no rigid moving parts are commonly considered tools, or simply devices, not machines. People have used mechanisms to amplify their abilities since before written records were available. Generally these devices decrease the amount of force required to do a given amount of work, alter the direction of the force, or transform one form of motion or energy into another. The mechanical advantage of a simple machine is the ratio between the force it exerts on the load and the input force applied. This does not entirely describe the machine's performance, as force is required to overcome friction as well. The mechanical efficiency of a machine is the ratio of the actual mechanical advantage (AMA) to the ideal mechanical advantage (IMA). Functioning physical machines are always less than 100% efficient. Modern power tools, automated machine tools, and human-operated power machinery are tools that are also machines. Machines used to transform heat or other energy into mechanical energy are known as engines. Hydraulics devices may also be used to support industrial applications, although devices entirely lacking rigid moving parts are not commonly considered machines. Hydraulics are widely used in heavy equipment industries, automobile industries, marine industries, aeronautical industries, construction equipment industries, and earthmoving equipment industries.

Obtaining hosting

Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services. A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The webhosting client may want to have other services, such as email for his business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn’t have to worry about the more technical aspects. One can also use Google to find active webhosting message boards that may provide feedback on what type of webhosting company may suit his/her needs.

Service scope

The scopes of hosting services vary widely. The most basic is webpage and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web “as is” or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service for free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Web page hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or cheap. Single page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, and ASP.NET). These facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also required. The host may also provide an interface control panel (e.g. cPanel, Hosting Controller, Plesk or others) for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Control panels and web interfaces have been causing some controversy lately as claims that it holds patent rights to the hosting technology with its 19 patents. Hostopia, a large wholesale host, recently purchased a license to use that technology from for 10% of retail revenues. recently sued Go Daddy as well for similar patent infringement . Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company. To find a web hosting company, there are searchable directories that can be used. One must be extremely careful when searching for a new company due to the fact that many of the people promoting service providers are actually affiliates and the reviews are biased.

Types of hosting

Internet hosting services can run Web servers; see Internet hosting services. Hosting services limited to the Web: Free web hosting service: is free, (sometimes) advertisement-supported web hosting, and is often limited when compared to paid hosting. Shared web hosting service: one’s Web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller. Reseller web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a provider. Resellers’ accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Virtual Dedicated Server: slicing up a server into virtual servers. each user feels like they’re on their own dedicated server, but they’re actually sharing a server with many other users. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Dedicated hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. Another type of Dedicated hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for Dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated box. Managed hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server but is not allowed full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user the modify the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the client. Colocation web hosting service: similar to the dedicated web hosting service, but the user owns the colo server; the hosting company provides physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and expensive type of the web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no support directly for their client’s machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colo, the client would have his own administrator visit the data center on site to do any hardware upgrades or changes. Clustered hosting: having multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization.

Technological features

The Internet ‘Ls technological success depends on its principal communication tools, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). They are referred to frequently as TCP/IP. A protocol is an agreed-upon set of conventions that defines the rules of communication. TCP breaks down and reassembles packets, whereas IP is responsible for ensuring that the packets are sent to the right destination. Data travels across the Internet through several levels of networks until it reaches its destination. E-mail messages arrive at the mail server (similar to the local post office) from a remote personal computer connected by a modem, or a node on a local-area network. From the server, the messages pass through a router, a special-purpose computer ensuring that each message is sent to its correct destination. A message may pass through several networks to reach its destination. Each network has its own router that determines how best to move the message closer to its destination, taking into account the traffic on the network. A message passes from one network to the next, until it arrives at the destination network, from where it can be sent to the recipient, who has a mailbox on that network. See also Electronic mail; Local-area networks; Wide-area networks.


TCP/IP is a set of protocols developed to allow cooperating computers to share resources across the networks. The TCP/IP establishes the standards and rules by which messages are sent through the networks. The most important traditional TCP/IP services are file transfer, remote login, and mail transfer. The file transfer protocol (FTP) allows a user on any computer to get files from another computer, or to send files to another computer. Security is handled by requiring the user to specify a user name and password for the other computer. The network terminal protocol (TELNET) allows a user to log in on any other computer on the network. The user starts a remote session by specifying a computer to connect to. From that time until the end of the session, anything the user types is sent to the other computer. Mail transfer allows a user to send messages to users on other computers. Originally, people tended to use only one or two specific computers. They would maintain “mail files” on those machines. The computer mail system is simply a way for a user to add a message to another user’s mail file. Other services have also become important: resource sharing, diskless workstations, computer conferencing, transaction processing, security, multimedia access, and directory services. TCP is responsible for breaking up the message into datagrams, reassembling the datagrams at the other end, resending anything that gets lost, and putting things back in the right order. IP is responsible for routing individual datagrams. The datagrams are individually identified by a unique sequence number to facilitate reassembly in the correct order. The whole process of transmission is done through the use of routers. Routing is the process by which two communication stations find and use the optimum path across any network of any complexity. Routers must support fragmentation, the ability to subdivide received information into smaller units where this is required to match the underlying network technology. Routers operate by recognizing that a particular network number relates to a specific area within the interconnected networks. They keep track of the numbers throughout the entire process.

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW) is based on technology called hypertext. The Web may be thought of as a very large subset of the Internet, consisting of hypertext and hypermedia documents. A hypertext document is a document that has a reference (or link) to another hypertext document, which may be on the same computer or in a different computer that may be located anywhere in the world. Hypermedia is a similar concept except that it provides links to graphic, sound, and video files in addition to text files. In order for the Web to work, every client must be able to display every document from any server. This is accomplished by imposing a set of standards known as a protocol to govern the way that data are transmitted across the Web. Thus data travel from client to server and back through a protocol known as the HyperText Transfer Protocol (http). In order to access the documents that are transmitted through this protocol, a special program known as a browser is required, which browses the Web. See also World Wide Web.

Domain Name System

The addressing system on the Internet generates IP addresses, which are usually indicated by numbers such as Since such numbers are difficult to remember, a user-friendly system has been created known as the Domain Name System (DNS). This system provides the mnemonic equivalent of a numeric IP address and further ensures that every site on the Internet has a unique address. For example, an Internet address might appear as If this address is accessed through a Web browser, it is referred to as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), and the full URL will appear as The Domain Name System divides the Internet into a series of component networks called domains that enable e-mail (and other files) to be sent across the entire Internet. Each site attached to the Internet belongs to one of the domains. Universities, for example, belong to the “edu” domain. Other domains are gov (government), com (commercial organizations), mil (military), net (network service providers), and org (nonprofit organizations).


A worldwide system of interconnected computer networks. The origins of the Internet can be traced to the creation of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) as a network of computers under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense in 1969. Today, the Internet connects millions of computers around the world in a nonhierarchical manner unprecedented in the history of communications. The Internet is a product of the convergence of media, computers, and telecommunications. It is not merely a technological development but the product of social and political processes, involving both the academic world and the government (the Department of Defense). From its origins in a nonindustrial, noncorporate environment and in a purely scientific culture, it has quickly diffused into the world of commerce. The Internet is a combination of several media technologies and an electronic version of newspapers, magazines, books, catalogs, bulletin boards, and much more. This versatility gives the Internet its power.