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How to counterfeit money

How to counterfeit money

Photoshop has a built-in algorithm that locks the program when an image of money is opened. Google offers a plentiful selection of stock photos to get the counterfeiter started, however.

According to the Secret Service website it’s not illegal to take pictures or scan United States Currency provided that it is used to print counterfeit money “of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of the item.” The bill also has to be printed one-sided, then the digital copy destroyed. Photos of coin, in their original size, may be used for any purpose. The only legal way to counterfeit money, according to the United States Secret Service, requires counterfeiting nickels and pennies. Here’s the official invitation:

Anyone who manufactures a counterfeit U.S. coin in any denomination above five cents is subject to the same penalties as all other counterfeiters. Anyone who alters a genuine coin to increase its numismatic value is in violation of Title 18, Section 331 of the United States Code, which is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

The Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) is responsible for pressuring Photoshop and most photo editing programs to adhere to its counterfeit deterrence system (CDS).  While Photoshop doesn’t let you import images of currency, there’s no preventing coinage.

Despite the Secret Service’s invitation to counterfeit nickels and pennies, history proves the government unfriendly when the minting goes beyond a simple garage hobby. New Jersey native Francis LeRoy Henning pawned 100,000 nickels before drawing the ire of Uncle Sam. His 3 year jail sentence and $5000 fine didn’t warrant the investment.

2014 Oscar Predictions

Our predictions will follow this overview of the 2014 Oscar nominations. “Gravity” is gonna get most of the awards this year, and I won’t dwell on it except to say I love going to the circus. The lion tamer (George Clooney) is always entertaining, handsome and heroic, but it’s the high wire act of Sandra Bullock that gets the ooos and ahhhs. I go to the circus about once a year and that’s gracious plenty. There’s nothing complicated or interesting about the circus, but it’s damned fun and the kid will love it.

The Academy's nominations included no outstanding film for 2013. “American Hustle” had the best plotline and could’ve been called “Argot Part II” for its pressure cooker pacing and 1970s depiction of government conspiracy. Christian Bale is always good and Amy...

The eponym: a marketer’s holy grail

The eponym: a marketer’s holy grail

An eponym or “name giver” is someone or something that becomes synonymous with the service provided. I was playing Wiffle Ball® with a Hacky Sack® while eating Granola® and Beer Nuts® until it was time for TV Dinners® next to our Fiberglass® Jacuzzi®. Using these generic terms pejoratively could raise the ire of these corporations’ trademark lawyers, but used passively the businesses are thrilled. After all, it’s the first thing you think of the next time you’re buying toys, food or outdoor tubs.

The world’s very best Internet branders and marketers realize the pinnacle moment for their product comes when the greater public adopts their proper nouns in common language. And it’s happening even as we speak. Googling has become eponymous for any Internet search – blogging, facebooking and tweeting are other eponyms, each recently integrated within our daily language while a younger generation may not even realize their origins. Perhaps the litmus test for measuring weather something is truly revolutionary comes down to the eponym.

Eponyms that have arrivede

  • Ebay – “You should ebay that Hermes scarft” (Excellent)
  • LinkedIn – “Are we LinkedIn?” (Excellent)
  • Apple – “Is there an App for that?” (Holy Grail)
  • Pinterest – “Pin it on your site” (Holy Grail)
  • PayPal – “Send the money online” (Holy Grail – because it’s the default)
  • Google – “Google him immediately!” (Holy Grail)
  • Facebook – “Friend me and we’ll go out” (Holy Grail)
  • Upworthy – “Your kitten pictures are upworthy” (Holy Grail)

Finding its footing

  • Bitcoin – “Bitcoin that drug money out of Colombia!” (Also synonymous with “get a lawyer”)
  • Instagram – “Instagram me that picture, please” (Good, if you want sepia pictures)
  • Amazon – “What about buying that new book for the beach? Prime it!” (Catching on)
  • YouTube – “I saw it on YouTube” (Expect a 2 minute shaky video)
  • Netflix – “I watched it on Netflix (A crappy movie or great television show)
  • Wikipedia – “Look it up on Wikipedia” (95% accurate)
  • Tumblr – “My social life doesn’t exist because I’m always on tumblr” (True)
  • Craigslist – “She found it on Craigslist” (She must live in the city)
  • Pornhub – “I’m addicted to free porn.” (Synonymous with ‘free porn’)
  • Huffington Post – “I love Bill Clinton and Huffington.” (Works)
  • Drudge Report – “The minimum wage should be just that – zero!” (Works)

Doesn’t quite work

  • Ask.com – “You should Ask about that.” (Nope)
  • Bing – “You going to bing your blind date?” (Nope)
  • Yahoo! – “I wonder if she sent it to my Yahoo!” (Nope and vaguely vulgar)

Getty Images and Facebook executive say marketers rely on fear-mongering tactics

Stock photography allows branders and marketers to introduce what many agree are the four basic marketing emotions that get people to pay attention to an advertisement: Greed (75% off!), Vanity (Be the best!), Exclusivity (Limited edition!) and Emotion (Don't lose in life!). Companies like Apple elicit exclusivity when new hardware flies off the shelf. The sports equipment industry knows that vanity is the great motivator for selling their products and major grocery chains rarely veer from catering to customers' greed. Now, representatives from two of the richest media companies, Facebook and Getty Images, have teamed up in an attempt to force marketers to diversify their imaging strategy by stymieing the emotional female fear-mongering advertisement. Their message has more to do with the desire for marketers to diversify which emotions they are eliciting when portraying images...

Twitter loses billions due to bad design

On February 5th Twitter announced that slowing sales and disappointing user growth means they need to reconfigure their design and core functionality. Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, told disappointed stock holders that twitter is desperately working on making its interface easier for users to use. “We will continue to invest in making Twitter a more visually engaging medium,” he said. “It will be a combination of changes introduced over the year that we believe will begin to change the slope of the growth curve.” But could bad design really explain the nearly 25% erosion in its stock price? Absolutely. Twitter is facing a slowdown in user growth, admitting that only 3.9% quarterly growth is half what previous quarters experienced. The shocking drop in the company's valuation could point to a hyperinflated stock price, but New...

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