How Technology is Changing the Way We Care For Our Teeth

Over the years, the dental industry has gone through some major upgrades. It has expanded its use of technology to include many new procedures and pieces of equipment designed to make your dental experience as comfortable and thorough as possible. Water flossers are a great example of how the dental industry is evolving to meet the needs of you, as the patient. This article will explore water flossers and several other technological advancements that you may see at your next appointment.

Water Flossers

oral irrigator sampleFollowing a dentist’s instruction to floss daily is something that you might not be too excited to hear. Unfortunately, flossing has been proven as one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, thereby promoting good oral health. Water flossers are an advancement in the dental industry that make flossing more appealing and easier to remember. A water flosser (or water pick) uses water pressure to clean between the teeth and gums. You might be skeptical as to the effectiveness of these devices, but they actually have been proven to be gentler and better at cleaning gums than traditional flossing.

 

Digital X-Rays

Thought x-rays have been around for quite some time, the advancement towards going digital has improved the quality and overall patient experience at the dentist. Digital x-rays use a digital image instead of traditional x-ray film to capture the necessary pictures. The benefits to this include less exposure to radiation, an immediately available preview, and the ability to enhance the quality of the image if necessary.

 

Dental Implants

Dental Implants have become a popular choice for many patients over the last 25 years. They are basically artificial tooth roots that can be placed in your jaw to anchor a replacement tooth. These allow many patients to replace missing teeth one by one instead of investing in an entire set of dentures. Even if you are missing an entire set of teeth, dental implants can be inserted to help anchor a full denture in order for it to be more secure.

 

DIAGNOdent

Detection is key in maintaining good oral health. The DIAGNOdent pen is a piece of technology that serves just this purpose. DIAGNOdent is a non-invasive laser that detects tooth decay from inside the tooth’s surface. This allows dentists to take a much closer look at each tooth, versus simply the surface visibility that they previously had. This laser allows decay to be detected much soon than it would be with other methods, meaning that, if you are diagnosed using this, you have a much better success rate of correcting whatever issue appears.

 

Laser Dentistry

Finally, laser dentistry is a practice that is contributing to the growth in comfort and effectiveness of many procedures. Lasers allow dentists to avoid using drills, scalpels, or other invasive tools in many cases. They can help reduce canker sores, expose wisdom teeth for better removal, perform biopsies, help treat infections, and much more. Though lasers can’t be used in every procedure, they are becoming more common each day. Ask your dentist if the procedure that you need is a candidate for laser dentistry, and you might be surprised that the answer is yes!

 

Conclusion

Professional dentistry is an ever-evolving profession that is making new advancements in technology each day. From water flossers to laser dentistry, there are hundreds of new options that you, as a patient, can choose from to make your experience at the dentist more appealing. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about a new procedure, technique, or piece of technology that you may have read about. It may save you some money and some discomfort, which is an appealing thought for even the most infrequent dental office visitor.



How Technology is Changing Yardwork

Of all the investments you’ll make in your life, the one made in your home is likely a top contender for the most significant. Because of this, you likely feel a sense of pride and do what you can to maintain its integrity. One of the most cumbersome jobs that falls on the hands of homeowners across the country is yardwork.

While the work can be grueling, it’s never been easier to work smarter instead of harder. Due to technological advancements, there are a number of ways in which you can cut back on the labor and show the neighborhood a yard you can be proud of. Here are three that are certainly worth consideration.

  1. Battery Powered Trimmers

Battery operated trimmerAfter the lawn has been mowed, it’s necessary to trim the edges with a weed eater. However, it can be time consuming to go to the store, get gas, and continually fill up the machine. When you rely on battery powered trimmers, on the other hand, you can get to work quickly. Unlike corded trimmers, you get to enjoy the mobility necessary to get the job done right. Best of all, with a long battery life, you don’t have to worry about having to stop the job to recharge. For more information on battery technology in line trimmers, you can find much more information in regards to the best considerations to make when purchasing here.

  1. Robotic Lawn Mowers

If you love the look of a freshly-mowed lawn but don’t like the process of actually performing the work, there’s another handy gadget that just might catch your attention. Robotic mowers have actually been in existence for quite some time, but they are beginning to grow in popularity as recent changes in their design have made them easier to use. Just some of the exciting features you can take advantage of include:

  • Programmable cutting paths
  • State-of-the-art sensors
  • Remote control options to avoid obstacles and keep the machine on track

Robotic lawn mowers are available through a variety of companies, and recent interest has enabled many manufacturers to reduce their pricing.

  1. Remote Irrigation Control

remote irrigation controlJust as with all living things, you lawn requires adequate water to thrive. While you may already have a standard clock timer for your irrigation system, there is a new technology on the market that can achieve the same goal while saving you money. Remote irrigation controls allow you to start and stop your system when you want to. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the use of one of these devices can save 8,800 gallons of water annually. That’s enough to save the country approximately $435 million in water costs due to overwatering. For more information regarding remote irrigation control, visit the EPA’s website.

 

Saving You Time and Money

It’s said that good things come to those who wait, and this is often the case. However, when it comes to creative lawn management, these new devices are able to get the job done more quickly and efficiently while saving you time and money. Technology has largely changed the way we live our daily lives, and you can use these advancements to create an aesthetically-pleasing yard the entire neighborhood can enjoy.



In the Thick of It: My First Hunt

There I was, in the thick of it. The sun peeking between the hills in front of us. My partner Geoff – an experienced coyote hunter – is whispering we need the sun on our backs. Make it harder for prey to spot us. Besides, we don’t want the sun in front of us hindering our vision.

I have never hunted before and will not get into why. Geoff is a friend and has tried to get me out for years. He finally convinced me I had to at least try. So, after several weeks of research, including the importance of your stand, the unpredictability of coyote behavior and reviews of some top notch rifle scopes, there I was, in the thick of the hunt in Coulee County, Montana.

Team HuntingWe spent the drive (and the days before) setting up the ground rules. As most hunters tend to go solo, it is important that teams be on the same page. Hunters have individual styles and a responsibility to avoid even the smallest conflict. The worst that could happen is you end up not catching prey tripping over each other. At worst, you shoot somebody. I was taking notes. Geoff told me to knock it off. In the wild, I would not be able to refer to notes. Any unnecessary movement – even leafing through a small notepad – was forbidden. In fact, limited movement and noise was at the top of the list. Also on the list was shooting etiquette, establishing the zone of fire for each of us and who the primary shooter would be, the person who got first crack at prey. Geoff decided that should be me.

We had already scouted the location, using Google Maps and Geoff’s own familiarity with the region. Once out the truck, we checked our gear and got into our camo. We did our surveillance: looked for tracks and bodies of water (you’re more likely to come across coyotes as they eventually need to quench their thirst) and scoped out hazards like areas we do not want to shoot towards.

hunting standGeoff helped me find my stand (basically the spot where you wait) before setting up his. We were both on our stomachs, weapons ready, hiding in tall weeds. Our calls and decoys were about 30 yards to the west. When I signaled I was ready, Geoff activated the “calling,” a mimicked cry of an animal in distress. Any coyote, figuring an easy meal was waiting, would seek the call.

Geoff called for about 10 minutes, took a break, started again. We were on the ground almost an hour before my partner signaled me. And there it was. A coyote focused on the call, obviously cautious, but looking off toward the decoy. I saw the sunlight in its eyes, creating that alien glow that you usually see in photographs. I was holding my breath. When I let it go – surely as quiet as I am sure the coffee on my desk is still hot – the coyote looked right at me. Its eyes still aglow. My head was fully covered (cap, hood, face mask), supposedly blending into the background, but the animal found my eyes. And it ran. Long before I even remembered I had a rifle.

My first hunt. Geoff has not let me forget how I screwed that up. But I didn’t. More than anything, the brief encounter made me realize how I really feel about hunting.



How Technology Is Changing Us

technologyBack before cell phones and smartphones, the only way we could communicate with each other was in person or using a landline phone to make a phone call. Today, all you need to do is send a text message or a snap chat. Does anyone even use a cell phone to make a phone call to friends anymore? The only nice thing that I can say about smartphones is that it makes it easier for people to communicate with those who may not be close via facetime or other visual talking application. So, why are people so disconnected even though they can be connected with everyone at the same time?

How It Was Different

When I started dating my now husband, the only way we could talk was if we saw each other at work or if we called each other from the house phone. He did have a cell phone, but he was only allowed to use it for phone calls after 9 p.m., ah, the good ole days of the early 2000’s.  I would get so excited for his phone call when it was free to talk. Today, him and I can be in the same room and be on our cell phones talking to multiple people at the same time through text messaging and when he is at work, the excitement of talking to him isn’t as great as it was when I had to wait all day for a phone call. He can stop and text me while he is working and I can talk to him whenever I feel like. To me, it seems like couples don’t have the same kind of relationship as they did back when talking to their partner wasn’t so accessible.

Connected But Disconnected

Since technology has made it easier for people to stay connected, it has also cost couples to be disconnected. I have been in restaurants and saw couples sitting next to each other but not being able to put their cell phones away. Either one is taking selfies or pictures of their steak and potatoes, while the other is texting or playing a game. They are there, but not there. By the time their meal is over, they only said maybe 10 sentences to each other. How can relationships work like that? And now, they don’t even have to get together to see each other. All they need to do is push the facetime button and that’s it. They can virtually see each other and talk, “share” a meal, and do whatever else. Think about it, if people are like this now, how do you think technology is going to change us over the next 10 years?

I can’t imagine what people are going to be like in the years to come. People today can’t have a normal conversation, can’t put their phones away for 5-minutes, and can’t go to the bathroom without it. Kids have cell phones and tablets even though they aren’t old enough to properly use them. Technology is going to continue to expand while physical human interaction is going to decrease. Eventually, I feel like we are all going to be linked to some kind of robot that displays our face so that we can communicate with other robots and go places without actually having to leave the house. It seems like something out of a movie, but today, it doesn’t seem too farfetched does it?

 

 



How technology is changing in the home improvement industry

How technology is changing in the home improvement industry

I personally believe that the advancements in technology has affected the lives of many in more ways than one. It’s safe to say that our lives are completely different from the lives of the many generations before us. In terms of basically everything, technology plays a very vital role in almost every aspect of our life. Technology for us has went from being a luxury commodity to a necessity –nowadays, every other thing is dependent on technology.

We can thank technology for the smartphones in our pockets, the laptops on our desks, and even the stereo system in our cars. Places like supermarkets are greatly dependent on technology to function properly; computers to keep inventory, barcode scanners to price check products, and escalators to help the customers commute efficiently. But apart from that, we don’t need to go too far to see the advancements of technology.

Technology has done wonders for the home improvement industry as well. Some of the many advancements we now have by virtue of technology are mentioned below;

 

Air compressorsAir compressors: I think that air compressors are by far the renovator’s most favorite tool, there are a great number of uses for this tool, from repairs to renovations to carpentry, etc. An air compressor is considered a must have for each of our households by many decorators and renovators.

Technology has changed air compressors for the better, older models of air compressors used to be bulky, heavy, had a bad effect on the environment, and required a lot of power to function. As compared to newer models, which are efficient, portable, cost effective, and even environmental friendly. Air compressors used to take up a lot of space in our olden days and even emitted many hazardous fumes, but those times are long gone. Thanks to the advancement in technology air compressors are now lighter than before and very portable – check out the best portable compressors on this comparison review site.

 

Compact reciprocating saws: Everybody knows that woodworking and home improvement go hand in hand. I believe that technology has done its wonders with the traditional reciprocating saw and made it smaller, lighter, portable, and more energy efficient –as well as cost effective.

Not to mention the stability and precision is still there, even better than before. We find it very surprising that such a big piece of equipment is now a simple tool which can be operated single handedly. Now reaching small places to cut off nails or severing pipes won’t be the appalling task it once used to be for us –thanks to this.

Electric screwdrivers: I’m very thankful to these tools, now unscrewing or screwing rusty screws won’t be the painstaking task it once used to be. We think this is by far the greatest advancement technology has ever given to the home improvement industry. I think electric screwdrivers show how technology is helping us in our daily lives.

This also gives us a clear cut idea of what more is in store for us in the future. I believe traditional tools are very soon going to be replaced by more efficient, easy-to-handle power tools. Technology has done wonders for the home improvement industry and for us, by doing the unexpected.



Why Mortgage Rates Are Rising

Rising Mortgage Rates

Canadian mortgage rates increased once more this month, but this time around, it wasn’t caused by new data on the economy or a rise in bond yields. Rather, one major lender increased rates, which subsequently led to everyone else following suit—a cycle many mortgage brokers have seen as of late.
Over the last few months, these instances of “Simon Says” have lowered average 5-year variable-rate discounts from prime minus 0.60 percent to prime minus 0.40 percent, and increased average 5-year fixed rates from 2.59 percent to 2.79 percent.
Such sweeping changes to mortgage rates in the country are hard to predict because they often start out as arbitrary decisions made by one lender, signaling everyone else to follow suit. What’s more, in most cases of these changes, lenders that followed have vastly different reasons for increasing rates as leaders did.

Reasons for the Recent Increases to National Mortgage Rates

1. Funding costs of lenders have slowly been increasing, and will continue to do so for much later. The gaps between government debate and the funding mechanisms used by lenders to create capital for mortgages have slowly but surely widened, with investors marking these kinds of credit as being riskier in nature.
However, this general increase and the spreads between residential-mortgage funding mechanisms pale in comparison to the figures seen on other credit types.

Expenses

2. Lenders have a limit on how much they can securitize into the Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) program. When lenders reach this cap, they have no choice but to transition to other capital sources, which are often more expensive. Of course, some lenders will simply increase rates to compensate for higher funding costs, but some will opt to take these costs for a limited time in order to be competitive against other lenders who don’t necessarily meet their caps at the same time.
However, if competing lenders raise their rates, others will be quick to follow suit. It should also be noted that not all lenders have a viable replace to the CMB, which leads to them using rate spikes to pull themselves out of the competition until such a time that their CMB cap is reset.

3. 2015 has been an extremely busy year for lenders, with many finding themselves short of staff. Challenges to lender capacity are made tougher due to a shortage of experienced underwriters. And with backlogs continuing to accumulate, many lenders have resorted to raising rates in order to slow volume, buying their underwriters time to process applications and paperwork. Mortgage brokers must have been busy!

4. Price/rate wars are at their fiercest during the spring market, when competition is at its peak. As the year comes to a close, and when lenders have achieved their targets—as most have this year—they are more likely to recoup the funding sacrifices made during the spring market push.
Mortgage rates increased recently, but it’s not because of bond yield movements or markets reacting to economic data. Instead, the rate hikes were caused by a combination of the factors above. It’s important to note this distinction, as these kinds of rate increases are usually NOT a sign of a much wider uptrend in mortgage rates.

It doesn’t look like this trend is going away soon. Make sure to keep yourself posted and visit our site for more information. You may also reach out to us for any needed information.



Current World Events

All over the world, there is always something happening, whether it is newsworthy or not. When you read the newspaper or look through the news on the internet, there is no doubt that you are going to see a news article about someone being shot by a police officer, a storm about to pummel somewhere, ISIS issues, hostage rescues, drug raids and more. The world is a gigantic place and no matter where you go, you are going to hear about something major that has just made national news.

Hurricane Patricia

As you are probably well aware, there is a hurricane currently slamming Mexico. Hurricane Patricia is the strongest storm ever recorded at sea. This hurricane has approached the Pacific coast of Mexico and is predicted that it would become one of the most dangerous storms in history. Thousands of people were evacuated before the category5 storm had a chance to touch down on Friday evening near Cuixmala. The winds reached a stunning 165-mph which uprooted trees and blew over power lines like stick houses. The rains that came along with it caused major mudslides and many other problems. There have been no reports of fatalities or major damage, for now. Since it was in a mountainous area, there was very little damage other than the mudslides, trees and powerlines.

43 Killed in France Bus Crash

A head on collision between a bus and a flatbed truck in southern France is responsible for the death of 43 people. This has been named the worst road accident in more than 30 years. Most of the people on the charter bus were elderly who were on a day trip to the Basque region. There were 41 fatalities on the bus itself and in the flatbed truck, the driver and his 3-year-old son perished. The crash happened at 7:30 a.m. on the D17 highway in Puisseguin on a wooded portion of the road. The bus also caught fire and because there was so much gas in the tank, the fire was very large. The victims of this tragedy are still being identified.

Drug Raid in “Super Tunnel”

The sophistication of drug smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border is so great that there was railway discovered when the feds raided the eight football field sized drug running tunnel. This tunnel featured a railway, electricity, lighting, and metal beams to prevent cave-ins. There were at least 12 tons of marijuana confiscated which had a street value of $6 million dollars and there were 22 people arrested in San Diego and Tijuana. This is one of the largest tunnels discovered in recent years. The investigation was 6 months long which began in May and had an undercover agent involved who helped with transporting buckets filled with dirt from the tunnel warehouse. This agent then offered to transport and store drugs for those who were running the operation. This is the 10th large-scale drug smuggling tunnel that has been discovered in the San Diego area since 2006.

The stories above are just a few of the headlines that are streaming across our computer screen and newspapers. It is amazing how much is going on in the world and how many people have no idea it is happening.



Addiction To Technology Growing Health Concern

Technology addiction is a huge issue with society today. Most of the time, if you are walking through the mall or even on the street, most people are looking at their phones or talking on them. They use them to take pictures, record video, play games and more. Not only are people obsessed with their phones, but they seem to also be obsessed with their computers. There isn’t anything you can’t do or buy on the internet to certain extremes. So, what does this say about the health of those who constantly have their eyes fixated on their phones or computers? It is a compulsion for some people. Once they hear their phone go off, they absolutely need to check the message, they cannot ignore it. People who stare at a screen for most of their day end up with headaches and those who have the technology addiction often have insomnia because they are constantly thinking about their phones and they just can’t shut their brain off. With all of the brain activity and multitasking that comes along with technology, it is possible for the brain to overheat like a car engine. The brain needs periods of rest in order to function properly.

So, how do we rest our brains properly and ensure they we are getting the proper sleep to rejuvenate?  The first step, as hard as it sounds, is to put down the electronics and forget they exist. When you are looking at the light from the screen of your phone or computer, your brain things that you should stay awake. If you turn off all of your technology, you will be able to sleep better. Once you put down that phone or computer, find yourself a comfortable pillow and mattress. If you align your spine with the right mattress you will have a much better night of sleep than if you are sleeping on an old spring mattress. If you are worried about your phone, write down your worries. Need to send an email but it can wait? Write it down and do it in the morning. Do not drink alcohol or have anything with sugar before bed. Alcohol puts you to sleep, yes, but you won’t sleep for very long, 4 hours at most. Once you wake up, you probably won’t be able to fall back to sleep. One more thing you can do to ensure you wake up refreshed is to wake up to natural sunlight. This will reset your circadian rhythm in your body and this will make sure you are tired at the right time of day. Also, take a vacation away from your electronics like I did when I went to Banff as that can be a great way to disconnect from electronics and reconnect with yourself.

Technology addiction is dangerous. Checking your phone while driving has killed and injured more people than you could imagine. People who cannot stand to have their phone anywhere else other than in their hand have a serious problem and need to learn to set it down once in a while. It can be a very dangerous habit, not only for yourself, but also the people around you.



What the future holds for print and online journalism

There is no doubt that print journalism is on the decline – lots of print journalists, myself included, shifted to other, more dynamic, forms of the trade – web journalism being the foremost among them. There are still lots of traditionalists who shun people that leave print in favour of other forms of media, but at the end of the day, the bills need to be paid, and daily expenses, such as grocery, appliance repair and luxuries, have to be met.

Let’s explore how the decline began, why online journalism gained so much traction and what the future holds for journalists.

The steady decline of print journalism started out in the late 1980s, well before online journalism had become a real thing. This decline become more pronounced as the digital era dawned, with digital journalism gaining popularity and the public gaining access to the Internet. It cannot be said that the fall of the former and the rise of the latter are directly correlated – print journalism had been on the decline well before online journalism had become common.

It is probably due to the fact that print journalism had been failing at delivering quality content for quite some time. Aside from this, the readily available cable television and 24 hour news channels made the printed product far less interesting, the front pages printed what most people had seen on last night’s news. This problem was accentuated by online journalism – with users being able to easily check the news at any time of the day, thereby losing their morning paper or even news viewing habit. Print media hasn’t changed from what it used to be 4 decades ago, it hasn’t adapted properly to the changing circumstances, and is in desperate need of an overhaul which isn’t happening.

People like the online form of journalism because it allows them to create and consume stories through new and varied languages and features. Interactivity and multimedia are two important features of this medium, and with the social tools thrown in, it becomes a different ballgame entirely. The near unlimited access to online media is equally important, with users being able to watch/listen/read the news from thousands of outlets across the globe. Geography is no longer the limit – it is only a search parameter.

As a colleague of mine shrewdly observed, the whole journalism industry is presently going through an identity crisis. With the exception of a handful of media groups, most do not have a well-defined strategy to deal with the new demands presented by the digital era. The last few years have seen journalists being fired left, right and centre, while the demand for skilled people in newsrooms increased. This hasn’t just affected online production, but also print. Good journalism has also gone out the window in some cases, with the journalists being told by their bosses to produce stories with glitz rather than content. In other words, quality has declined in both online and print journalism. It can be said then, that both facets of journalism face the same problem, essentially a lack of proper strategies and long-term planning on part of media group boards, and also the ‘us vs. them’ (i.e. print vs. online) mentality, which has become extremely common these days.



A Couple of Places That Taught Me Valuable Lessons:

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I would like, today, to share memories from a couple of places I visited during the days when I was starting out as a corporate journalist. I like to think that I visited these places to get inspiration about my future as an RJ with a journalism degree and indeed, I did get inspired that it was time the public was made aware of the truth of corporations and how they operated:

Silicon Valley

I visited Silicon Valley because it was, in my opinion, the place where the future of big business lay – eight years later, I’m glad I made that trip, because today, computers, smartphones and ‘apps’ have become the biggest money spinners and the most dominant corporate companies are Apple, Intel, Google, Facebook and so on. My original plan had to been to get interviews from a couple of entrepreneurs. I was supposed to meet them both at Buck’s of Woodside a restaurant famed as a focal point for the sort of people I intended to meet and interestingly, the place where services such as Tesla and Hotmail were incorporated.

The interviews went great and did raise some interesting points – one of the interviewees told about how he was starting a new software company, he believed that the best way to reach the public was to resort to social media and blogging, and really inform the people about what his service could do for them rather than using billboards and television commercials, which might figure into his marketing campaign later. Tech start-ups should definitely take this advice since it won’t cost them much and they’ll be addressing a global audience given their product/service is something unique. In fact, I’ve frequently quoted his words in my radio shows since then.

While there, I decided to kill some time by visiting a famous landmark since I was something of a tech geek. The HP Garage, the place where Silicon Valley was born, was my intended destination. In terms of inspiration for a business journalist, I could think of no better place than this – a small rental house that produced a dominating tech giant and an inspiring story that led to so many others.

Wall Street

 

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A trip to Wall Street is recommended for all commerce students, and corporate journalists won’t do wrong in visiting it either. The truth is that this place is a hotbed for the most aggressive kind of marketers – stockbrokers. These individuals represent the zenith of classical marketing where company stocks are sold to names written on call lists using flashy jargon and marketing ploys, the customers are identified by the numbers on the list and nothing more. I was the proponent of the notion that each customer should be thought of as a whole informed ‘audience’ and be present with the whole truth regarding a service and Wall Street was the exact opposite of my ideology. However, I still believed that it was a good idea to gain an insight into the flaws of the present corporate system before trying to make an effort to change it, which is why I signed on for a trip to Wall Street with the touring company ‘The Wall Street Experience’.

The tour was thoroughly informative, with the tour guide being a former stockbroker himself; our tour group got to see all the famous landmarks that are representative of corporate America – the Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve and, of course, Wall Street itself. We were told actual stories about how the whole financial backbone of the US was functioning and, for me, these stories did shed some light on what drives corporations after they have gone public.

I was so impressed by the tour that I signed up for the more intense ‘Financial Crisis’ tour the company offered which was meant for industry professionals! The tour gave detailed information regarding the financial crisis and the factors which contributed to it. The ruthlessness involved in the day to day life of a successful Wall Street Trader was shocking and instructive at the same time. I learned about technical terms such as Credit Default Swap (CDS) and Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) that represented financial transactions that brought down entire institutions.

My trip to Wall Street strengthened my resolve to inform the consumers about how best to make a decision regarding the purchase of a product or service. I had seen first-hand how easily so many people were swayed to invest into a company by the honeyed words of stockbrokers and I decided it was time people realized the truth.