Archive for March, 2012

Chilling Out At The Blue Lagoon

The misconception about Iceland, obviously, is that it is covered in ice. In fact, the country has beautiful, green landscapes. Iceland is a wonderful destination for any tourist who is seeking adventure and beautiful nature scenes. If you are considering taking an international vacation, consider visiting Iceland and the famous Blue Lagoon. It is one of the most highly acclaimed locations in Iceland. Remember, if you are going to be doing any international travel, you will need a valid United States passport. If your passport is expired, you can go online and hire a passport agency that can help with U S passport renewals.


Anyone who has traveled internationally before knows that it is imperative that you have a valid United States passport. Without a passport, you will not be allowed to leave the country for any reason. If you are already overseas, and then lose your passport, you will not be allowed back into America until you obtain a replacement American passport. Unlike in the past, even young children are now required to have their own individual passports. In the past, infants could travel with their parents without needing their own passports. However, to curb child abductions, this is no longer the case.

Volcanic Activity

Iceland is home to some incredibly powerful, active volcanoes. Also, the country has many gorgeous glacial rivers that flow throughout the country and into the ocean. The temperature in Iceland is actually very nice for most of the year. This is unusual because of how close it is to the Arctic Circle. The Blue Lagoon is located relatively close to eh volcanic activity that is in the country.


When people think Blue Lagoon, they probably envision a tropical destination with lots of palm trees, or even a neon blue drink of the alcoholic sorts. However, The Blue Lagoon Spa in Iceland is one of the world’s most famous spas. It is a Geothermal Spa that features steamy waters that are part of a lava formation. It is located in a field of lava on the Revkjanes Peninsula. The water in the lagoon is output from the geothermal power plant Svartsengi. This superheated water is vented from the earth near the lava flow and is used to run turbines that generate electricity. After the water goes through the turbines the steam and hot water flows through the heat exchanger, from there the water flows into the lagoon for those to enjoy the spa whether recreationally or for medical purposes.

Health Benefits

Due to the mineral rich waters that have high concentrations of minerals such as silica and sulphur, the spa is known for healing certain skin diseases, like psoriasis. The normal water temperature in the lagoon is close to 98–102 °F. In addition to being a spa, it also is the location of a research and development building that is working on developing cures for skin sicknesses. The Blue Lagoon also offers a line of skin care featuring the mineral based waters that flow through the lagoon.

Explore Mandela’s archives online

Last year we announced a .25 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to help preserve and digitize thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Nelson Mandela. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) is committed to documenting the life and times of one of the world’s greatest statesmen and spreading his story to promote social justice throughout the world…

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Review: Photoshop CS6 Beta

Only once in the history of Photoshop has Adobe released a free public beta, until now. Photoshop CS6 Beta is now available for free download from Adobe, for a limited time (the beta will eventually expire, though at the moment there doesn’t seem to be a set date for that to happen).

This is a beta release, and while Adobe says they’ve done thorough testing, there are bound to still be some bugs…

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Comics of the week #122

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons…

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Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links

Have you got a message like the one below from Google? If so then it means that Google has discovered some links that it doesn’t like in your link profile and you need to act fast to fix things.

Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links to

Dear site owner or webmaster of,
We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines…

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Is it possible to kill a competitors website?

Yes. As seen with the recent Build My Rank fiasco you can buy BMR links and point them to your competitors sites and you will kill their site, and as they didn’t pay for them will not be able to remove the links, and won’t be able to file for reinclusion. Good bye competition, hello higher rankings!

Your mileage may vary. Don’t expect this to work for Wikipedia but it will for some smaller outfits.

Google has to address this as they have now created a huge loophole in their algorithms. There are several linking networks out there, BMR is just one. For a few hundred dollars you can kill a competitors site – let the mayhem commence.

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Rarotonga – Travelling Overseas For A Wedding Spot

There are many reasons people choose to have destination weddings. First, it is actually a good way to save money. Second, some people find planning a wedding that will host a lot of guests to be very stressful and do not want to go through that process. If you do decide that a destination wedding is what you want to have you will need to make sure you have a valid United States passport for any international travel you might be doing. There are tons of resorts around the world that cater to individuals that want to have a destination wedding experience. It is important to remember if you are going to be traveling abroad to have a passport. If your passport needs to be updated you can go online and take care of issues like pass port name change.

Overseas Wedding

If you do not have a valid passport you will not be able to enter any other country that you want to travel to. If you want to go overseas to have a wedding both parties will need to possess valid, up to date United States passports before they are allowed into another country. Make sure all the information on your passport is current and valid and that your passport does not show any signs of damages. If it does you may need to get a replacement passport before you depart for your destination wedding. Fortunately, there are many passport services available that offer expedited services that you can find online. That way you will ensure that you get your American passport back before you leave for your trip.

Stresses Of Normal Weddings

Planning a traditional wedding here at home can be an incredibly stressful time for people who want to get married. Choosing who will come, what the dress will be, what food to serve, it can be overwhelming for many people who are in the situation. It can quickly go from being a fun experience to being a tedious job. Many people do not know that they can avoid all of this, and save a lot of money, by having a smaller scale wedding somewhere overseas. It is important for people to understand that they can have a great destination wedding experience for less than they think.


A great place to have a destination wedding that people may not be familiar with is Rarotonga. This location is part of the French Polynesian Cook Islands and is a beautiful place to have a wedding ceremony. There are many great cultural aspects that you will enjoy if you travel there. They also have many great hotels and resorts that cater specifically to couples who go there to have a destination wedding. They have great locations where people can gather to celebrate getting married.


Usually, couples dismiss the notion of a destination wedding because they think it will far exceed their budgets. However, when people do a little research, they will be surprised to see just how affordable a destination wedding can be. Airlines and hotels are offering attractive packages online for people who are looking to go overseas for their weddings. You can buy a destination wedding, everything included, for around only $3,000. Once people realize this, they may reconsider not having a destination wedding after all.

Review: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

When a lot of designers and creative types think about photo editing, they think Photoshop. But the truth is that Photoshop can be way over-powered for many types of photo editing. And all those options can lead to creative overload, making it impossible to get your work done in a timely manner.

That doesn’t mean you don’t need a program that’s incredibly powerful, though…

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Google Places Comic – Acceptable Outcomes = Collateral Damage or A Direct Hit?

It is hard explaining to small businesses that when their listing merges with their competitor’s business it is a feature of Google Places NOT a bug. Well not actually a feature but a known and predicted artifact of Google’s automated merge & purge routines.

The flip side of removing duplicates is some amount of merging. The algo does not have enough granularity to clearly see that two similar businesses are in fact distinct…

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To Pin Or Not To Pin: How Businesses Can Use Pinterest And Reduce Their Legal Risks Of Copyright Infringement

href=""> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-6386" title="Red Thumbtack Pin Pinterest" src="" alt="Pinterest Legal Issues Copyright Infringement" width="300" height="300" />Go ahead.  Let yourself enjoy href="" target="_blank">Pinterest.  Pinterest is a pinboard styled social photo sharing website on which people can share what they find interesting and connect with people in the United States and abroad.  Relatively new, this social media network is extremely popular.  In August 2011, href=",28804,2087815_2088159_2088155,00.html" target="_blank">Time magazine listed Pinterest on its “50 Best Websites of 2011” column.  More recently, Mashable reported that Pinterest is a “top driver for retailers.”  Pinterest also has an app for iPhone, and a mobile website.  Consequently, it would be a shame for professionals and businesses to shy away from Pinterest because there are some copyright legal issues surrounding Pinterest.  However, businesses should use it by giving some thought to the images being pinned, and whether they have permission from the owner to use them, or, alternatively, believe they are protected by the “fair use” defense in the Copyright Act.

1.  style="text-decoration: underline;">Legal Challenges Facing Pinterest.

The idea behind Pinterest is to encourage users to surf the Internet and pin photos and material that they find interesting (translation:  sometimes the creative and copyright protected works of other people).   Pinterest explains the installation and use of its href="" target="_blank">“Pin It” button as follows:

“When you are browsing the web, push the “Pin In” button to pin an image.  Once installed in your browser, the ‘Pin It’ button lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards.  When you pin from a website, we automatically grab the source link so we can credit the original creator.”

Notably, these instructions do not say anything about paying a royalty to the original creator or getting their permission in advance to use their image on Pinterest.  It is therefore not surprising that some people are arguing that Pinterest may not qualify for the href="" target="_blank"> “Safe Harbor” provision of the DMCA (aka “DMCA 512”) which shields website operators from copyright infringement when they are passive infringers who have taken certain steps to qualify for the safe harbor, and have not encouraged the alleged copyright infringement.

The other story circulating on the Internet concerns Pinterest’s href="" target="_blank">terms of use.   Pinterest states that users agree not to infringe, violate or otherwise interfere with any copyright or trademark of another party, and that the user will indemnify Pinterest for any  costs and attorneys’ fees from any claims.  This term of use can be found on virtually all social networking sites, and, if it has been omitted, then that site may want to update its terms of use.  Less standard, is Pinterest’s reported practice of automatically uploading and keeping in its collection (whether you later delete the image or not) a version of the image to Pinterest.

Pinterest seems to understand it has a problem.  It is offering an opt out system which puts the onus on website owners to create code to prevent their content from being pinned.  This is not a very good solution.

2.  style="text-decoration: underline;">Ways To Use Pinterest For The Benefit Of Your Business, And Reduce The Legal Risks.

Setting aside Pinterest’s possible legal problems, your business can still benefit from Pinterest.  However, your business should do so with some thought behind the legal risks.  In deciding what to pin on your online bulletin board, your business should make an informed decision on whether you want to post only material for which you have permission from the owner, or have first worked through a site such as Creative Commons, or sites that use it, including Flickr and Google.  Alternatively, you may be willing to try and use someone else’s picture, image, drawing, or art (all of which are entitled to copyright protection), and argue that it is a fair use.

The fair use defense allows use of the original work, if the purpose for using the copyrighted work is for the purpose of fair and reasonable criticism.  Some examples of fair use in the preamble to Section 107 include:  “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.”  Federal courts usually decide fair use issues by considering the four listed (but not exclusive) factors in Section 107:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for profit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole (with Pinterest pinning, this would usually mean the entire original work but maybe with the size reduced); and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

In applying the first factor, courts will treat parody and comedic use as “criticism” or “comment” but it needs to be a comment on the original work.  Thus, borrowing a song and playing around with the words to make it funny is not necessarily a fair use if it is not being done to make fun of the song itself.  For the second factor, not yet published works would receive more protection than an out of print book.

The fourth factor is generally considered to be the most important of the four factors.  This is because href="" target="_blank">copyright law is designed to provide an economic incentive for new creative works.  A secondary use that threatens this incentive is less likely to be considered a fair use.  Thus, in the context of taking and using someone’s art, courts are likely to look at whether the post on Pinterest supplants the market for the original.  In other words, are people less likely to contact the owner to license her art.  The copyright issue surrounding Pinterest is another example of how businesses can benefit from giving some thought to the href="" target="_blank">legal issues surrounding their social media presence.

How is your business using Pinterest?  Do you find Pinterest helpful for improving your brand, or increasing your sales revenues?  Have any of the legal concerns surrounding Pinterest resulted in you getting off of Pinterest as some businesses have done?

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, her affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives her permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author.

id="author-bio-box"> alt='' src='' class='avatar avatar-80 photo' height='80' width='80' /> class="author-name"> Michelle Sherman  ( href="">3 Posts)

This monthly Social Media and the Law column is contributed by Michelle Sherman. Michelle is Of Counsel at Slater, Hersey & Lieberman LLP in Southern California where she is a litigation attorney representing businesses. Michelle also advises businesses on the legal issues surrounding the use of social media by them and their employees, and is the editor and author of

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