Add Character to Your Patio with Stamped Concrete


If you are looking to add some character to your patio, you should look into a stamped concrete surface. This is a great way to set your patio apart from others, and make it the centerpiece of your outdoor living area. A stamped concrete patio project is best left to the professionals because it can be a lengthy job. But if you feel you are up to it there is no reason that you should not give it a whirl. Deciding to take on a stamped concrete project requires a lot of prep work. By researching the internet you will be able to find information that will get you started.

Start out by checking sites such as http://www.moyesofvirginia.com. This site contains a lot of great pictures. This will give you an idea of what a stamped surface will look like. There is no reason to start this job if you do not even know if you will like the end result. Be sure to look at enough pictures to know that you are getting what you want.

http://www.komar.org/how-to/patio/stamped-concrete is a great source of information on what it takes to complete a stamped concrete project. There is a sample concrete patio design that you can work off of. This site will give you an idea of what it will take in order to complete a project of this size.

StampedConcrete.com offers seminars and technique information to anybody who visits the site. This will assist you with the actual labor part of the project.

Always remember that you can hire a professional if this task seems a little bit out of reach. A stamped concrete project can be time consuming and very detail oriented. A simple search in your yellow pages will be sure to turn up a couple results of professionals who would be glad to take on your concrete project.

Youtube And Video Sharing

How YouTube Works

communication-952190-mEver heard of the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, YouTube is proving that videos are worth more than pictures. Millions of people worldwide upload their clips to the site and let it be seen and commented upon by the rest of the internet citizenry. It is comparable to blogging, except you use videos instead of articles.

How YouTube Works

Members can upload their video clips to the site. These videos could be about anything under the sun. Videos uploaded vary among movie clips, TV clips, music videos, live shows, sports events, and homemade videos.

Everyone who has internet connection and Adobe Flash video playing capability can watch the video clips on the site and leave a comment for the member who submitted the video. Visitors of the site can also post or embed the videos they like in their own web site by copying the prominently displayed codes. This perpetuates video sharing and increases the following of both YouTube and YouTube members.

YouTube’s Impact

YouTube is a product of three Paypal employees fertile imaginations. These three had personal video sharing in mind when they began YouTube. They could never have foretold that YouTube was going to be a premier cyberspace entertainment site.

YouTube’s concept is pretty simple. Maybe this is the reason for its enormous popularity in the short span of time that it has been in operation. The period 2005 to 2006 (YouTube’s first year in cyberspace) saw such rapid growth in membership and web traffic; it is even more popular than MySpace by some measures. About a hundred million video clips get viewed on YouTube every day. Google realized YouTube’s impact on the internet and acquired it for an amount in excess of US$1 billion.

YouTube can make celebrities out of ordinary and average people. People who have had no way of entering show business the traditional way get a start in YouTube. Comedians get a following, home-styled commentators get an airing, and everybody gets to share his thoughts and get reactions from viewers.

Bands and television shows get promoted through YouTube. In fact, NBC and CBS have come to acknowledge YouTube’s power to reach millions of potential viewers and have agreed to provide YouTube content from their TV shows. Recording companies followed suit by providing music videos.

YouTube’s Unresolved Issues

Of course, where there is video sharing, there’s copyright infringement. YouTube has received numerous complaints and some lawsuits from rightful owners of videos which found their way to the site through pirated copies or copies whose license did not include sharing through the internet.

YouTube is still trying to sort things out. The site has set 10 minutes as the maximum video clip length to discourage posting whole copyrighted videos, but so far this has been quite ineffective. Some keywords associated with copyright content are also automatically rejected but users have got around this by misspelling their keywords or using different keywords altogether.

Whatever the issues that YouTube are facing and are about to face in the future, YouTube has proven its significance in the social networking field of the internet. It will continue to be a primary source of entertainment for the cyberspace populace.

The Best In Audio Video Tools

audio video toolsWhat do you use your computer for? Long gone are the days when the computer was strictly a data processing tools. Today, the computer is an all-purpose media entertainment center. Its capabilities have gone far beyond keeping a catalog of all your movies and music and it’s even gone beyond playing all your favorite music and movies. These days, with the right tools you can splice, cut, record, edit, mix, create and publish your own media. And to accompany the new capabilities there’s a dizzying array of new software tools that can help you do everything from rip CDs to encode complete animations and videos. How do you find the best new software tools?

Enter Audio Video Tools, one of the fastest growing download sites for audio and video software. Just like their name says, the site is all about the software that you need to do everything you want with anything audio or video. This is not just another software directory. Audio Video Tools lists powerful audio and video tools in 14 different categories from CD rippers to cell phone utilities. Whether you want to do something as simple as convert a .wav to an mp3 or as complex as create a full-length video from scratch, you’ll find the tools you need to do it at Audio Video Tools.

And you’ll find them easily. There’s no need to wade through page after page of directory structure. You can search all categories from the front page on the site, or click on a category to go directly to browsing that category. You’ll find video editors, audio editors, CD rippers, imaging software, video and audio converters, complete all-in-one packages and more. There are shareware listings, commercial listings and freeware listings and in short, just about everything you’d ever want to play with your media.

Each listing includes a capsule description and a full review as well as a side box that lists all the important details about the software and including both a staff and user rating, and the chance to enter your own rating. The categories include All-in-One, Media Players, CD Rippers, CD Burners, Converters, DVD software, Editors, ID3 Tag Editors, Mobile Phone Tools, Plugins, Radio and Broadcasting (plog casting, anyone?), Recorders, Utilities and Voice and Text editors.

The reviews are comprehensive, listing all the capabilities of each software package and how well it performs each function. It’s a nice bonus that’s not often found on pure directories.

For software publishers, Audio Video Tools offers multiple opportunities for exposure. There’s an easy submission tool to add a free listing of you audio or video software, and many different ways to increase the exposure of your listing at very reasonable rates. You can opt for a featured listing, front page exposure, top level search results, footer text links and more.

Among the most popular software featured at audio-video-tools.com is Blaze Media Pro, the popular powerhouse all-in-one media tool that converts between all available video and audio formats .Rip, burn, convert, edit, capture, create, extract and combine files to create your own unique media.

Audio Video Tools is a young and growing directory with a lot of promise. The directory structure is easy to follow and intuitive, the reviews and descriptions complete enough to intrigue and the array of features for software publishers wide enough to attract the best tools the net has to offer. If you need the tools to do absolutely anything with media files, this is the place to find the tools that you need.

Getting Started With Video blogging And Get Traffic Fast!

video bloggingVideo blogging is the next generation of posting ideas and products over the internet. Everybody knows about text blogging. Now they use videos for a better way of expression. This form of communication may entail a lot of resources, but it is all worth it. If pictures say a thousand words, video blogging exceeds that by far.

A video blog requires larger disk spaces on websites, a faster server, and a whole new set of programs to support it. Video blogs can be fed through RSS. This is technology of syndicating your website to other RSS aggregators.

Video blogging works with people on the internet expressing their selves. Now if you put this on a business prospective, you are up to a lot of benefits. Think of it as a powerful tool in making showing your prospective customers your line of products or your services. It’s just like showing a commercial all for free. And if you video blog through RSS, then most probably you are getting your target market.

People like to see what they are going to buy. Some would like to see proof and be sure that they are getting their money’s worth before shelving their dimes on it. All of us know the influence of a thirty second commercial. The effect of video blogging is similar to that. You show your product, people watch it. If they like it, they buy it. If you present it good enough, they’ll buy the product even if they don’t need it.

Now on the web, things are pretty much static, unlike in television in which all are moving. If you post something that is mobile, it would most likely catch attention. Now imaging your product parading in all it’s royalty through  video blog. You’ll get phone call orders in no time.

If your business is just starting up, you can create a video blog right at your own home. All you need is your web camera, microphone, video software, and lights. For as long as you know how to use your camera, then you can create a video blog.

Invest in a good web camera. The higher its resolution is the better the output. And you like to present your goods in the optimum way so get the best one possible. Make a short story, or just capture your goods in one go. Just make sure you are getting the best profile for each. Get those creativity juices flowing.

Lights are important in a production. Make sure you illuminate entirely the area you are going to use to create video blog. The brighter the area, the crispier the images will be. You can also use lighting effects for added appeal to the presentation.

Should you require sounds for your video blog, you need a microphone. Record you voice as a voice over for promoting the product and its benefit to consumers. Sounds are as important as videos on a video blog. It is advisable to make your sound effects as enticing as the video.

Your video editing software can be any program. You need this to finalize your work. You can add sounds, delete some bad angles, or insert some still pictures in there too. Some programs are user-friendly and can be used even with zero knowledge on video editing. Even simple video editing programs should do the trick. Select your background carefully too. The light affects the presentation so make sure that the background and the light complements each other.

Video blogging is a great tool but it also has it downside. It may slow down the computer so other may steer clear of it. Download time may also be time consuming especially if customer is still on a dial- up connection.

But don’t let those stop you. Let video blogging be an alternative for you, though it is best to still keep the text and pictures present in your presentation to accommodate all possible viewers of your site.

Nowadays, the more creative you are in presenting your product to the market, they more you are likely to succeed. Video blogging offers an interactive way of selling. You involve the customers. You instill in them the advantage of your goods. And at times, those are enough to make a sale.

Video and Audio File Formats: An Introduction

video-editing-console-1196094-mAudio and video file formats are continually being developed to meet the demands of modern file distribution and playback software and hardware requirements. Corporations such as Sony and Microsoft have developed their own custom formats for security and commercial purposes and this introduction should make the muddy waters just a little bit clearer.
FILE FORMATS There are several audio file formats in common use. There are fewer video file formats, but audio video file extensions can be confusing. This is just a brief description of what the more commonly used audio and video file formats and systems are.

AAC:Advanced Audio Coding This is the audio file format used by Apple for the iTunes Music Store, and it may appear with the M4A filename extension. It is better than MP3 for sound quality. It was developed as part of the MPEG4 group owned by Dolby (see below).

AU: This audio file format is the standard used by Java, Sun and Unix.

MPEG: Moving Pictures Expert Group There are a number of MPEG types now, described below.

MPEG-1: This is used in digital cameras and camcorders for small video clips. VHS quality playback can be expected from MPEG-1.

MPEG-2: Used for digital satellite TV, professional movie recording and recording of home DVD recordings. Provides provision for multi-channel surround sound recordings.

MPEG-3: MPEG-3 was propose as an entity, but eventually merged into MPEG-2.

MPEG-4: This is the newest MPEG system and is used for streaming internet content. It is also used in portable video recorders and for internet downloads. Required for DivX. It improves digital broadcasting and interactive graphics and multimedia.

MP3: Digital audio files, most commonly used to store and playback music. It compresses the files to about 10% of a normal audio file, and a normal music track will be about 5 -6 MB in size. MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, not MPEG-3 as many people think. A typical MP3 audio file is near CD quality.

OGG: An audio file format supporting a variety of codecs, the most popular of which is the audio codec Vorbis. However, MP3 files are much more broadly supported than Vorbis.

RA: Real Audio This format is designed for streaming audio over the Internet. It is a self-contained file format with all the audio information stored within the file itself.

WAV: The simplest of the audio file formats, developed by Microsoft and IBM, and built into Windows 95. It is an uncompressed audio file format with large file sizes (10 x MP3), and does not need further processing to play. The WAV file consists of three blocks of information: The RIFF block which identifies the file as a WAV file, The FORMAT block which identifies parameters such as sample rate and the DATA block which contains the actual data, or music sample.

WMA: Windows Media Audio A digital system invented by Microsoft, and is used in portable digital audio players. Using WMA, a file can be programmed so that it cannot be copied, and can be used to protect copyright.

WMF: Windows Media Format These are audio-video files comprising WMA and video codecs. They provide high quality and media security for streaming and download and play applications on computers.

WMV: Windows Media Video Used in the Windows media Player, this is used to stream and download and play audio and video content.

When dealing with audio and video file formats, you will sometimes notice the term ‘codec’. A codec is simply short for encoder-decoder (or compressor – decompressor). A main function of a codec is to compress audio or video data streams so that transmission of digital audio samples and video frames can be speeded up and storage space reduced.

The objective of all codecs is to reduce the file size to a minimum while maintaining audio and video quality. A quick indication of the codec’s place in the path of transmission and reception is:

Video device (e.g. camcorder) – video capture card – video digitized – codec (compresses digital info) – result (MPEG2, AVI, WMV etc) – codec (decompress) – video frames – display device.

Between the two codecs the compressed result is transferred to the display device transmitted, stored on file, etc). So to condense the flow even further, we could basically describe it as:

raw data – codec – transmit – codec – play

This is simplistic, but it shows where the codecs are used. Therefore, in order to play a movie, video or piece of music of a certain format, you need a codec in your computer to allow you to decompress the file and play it.

IT Consultants: Recommend Clients Buy Video Monitors Along with PCs

it consultantsAlthough there are really no major compatibility issues to consider between PCs and monitors, most PC vendors offer good deals on monitors purchased at the same time as desktop PCs. In this article, we’ll assume you are IT consultants who recommend brand name PC products to your clients.

IT Consultants: What Are You or Your Clients Actually Paying?

For due diligence, IT consultants should always price the PC with and without the monitor, to see what you or your clients are actually paying. Then look to see whether that monitor price is in line with purchasing a comparable monitor separate from the PC. However, besides the purchase price, there are some even greater soft cost considerations.

When purchasing the monitor along with a desktop PC, the monitor warranty generally is incorporated into any on-site warranty coverage with the PC. That means, if a clientís monitor needs replacement during the on-site warranty period, the PC vendor usually will arrange to cross-ship a replacement monitor.

IT Consultants: Know The Benefits of Warranties

  • This provides a few very compelling benefits.
    No need to store and retain packing materials. Your clients don’t have to worry that they’ve thrown away the box and packing materials for the monitor. There’s no need to purchase return shipping supplies as they’ll be able to return the broken monitor in the same box their replacement comes in.
  • Save time with freight logistics. Your clients doesn’t have to locate a shipping outlet. In most cases, the PC vendor includes return shipping labels (call tags) for a specific freight carrier – generally the same freight carrier used for shipping the replacement to them.
  • Save money on freight costs — If the PC vendor supplies return shipping labels, your client wonít have to pay for return freight. Depending on the monitor size, origination and destination shipping points, this easily can save your client $25 or more.

While the third bullet point affects your clients direct out-of-pocket costs, the first two items can be labor-intensive chores for you or your clients internal computer administrators (“internal gurus”).

So, buying a monitor along with a PC, and getting both purchases folded into on-site warranty coverage, easily can save a half-hour to an hour (or more) every time a monitor needs replacement.