HowStuffWorks is an American commercial infotainment website founded by professor and author Marshall Brain to provide its target audience an insight into the way many things work. The site uses various media to explain complex concepts and mechanisms—including photographs, videos and articles; the website was acquired by Discovery Communications in 2007, but was sold to different owners in 2014. The site has since expanded out into focusing on factual topics. In 2018, the podcast division of the company, spun-off by System1 under the name Stuff Media, was acquired by iHeartMedia for $55 million. In 1998, North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain started the site as a hobby. In 1999, Brain formed HowStuffWorks, Inc.. In March 2002, HowStuffWorks was sold to the Convex Group, an Atlanta-based investment and media company founded by Jeff Arnold and former chief executive officer of WebMD; the headquarters moved from North Carolina, to Atlanta. HowStuffWorks focused on science and machines, ranging from submarines to common household gadgets and appliances.
After adding a staff of writers and editors, content expanded to a larger array of topics. In November 2004, HowStuffWorks moved its entertainment section to Stuffo. However, in 2006, the team disbanded and the site now redirects visitors to the site's entertainment channel; the domain HowStuffWorks.com attracted at least 58 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com survey. There have been four HowStuffWorks books – two illustrated hardcover coffee table books called HowStuffWorks and More HowStuffWorks, two un-illustrated paperbacks called How Much Does the Earth Weigh? and What If?. HowStuffWorks puts out an educational magazine called "HowStuffWorks Express" for middle school students; the company has released a series of HowStuffWorks trivia "LidRock" discs – CD-ROMs sold on fountain drink lids at Regal Theaters. Howstuffworks acquired Mobil Travel Guide and Consumer Guide. Howstuffworks.com spun off its international division when they went public via an acquisition of INTAC, a China-based company.
In March 2007, HSW International launched its Portuguese website with headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil. The Portuguese term for the site is Como Tudo Funciona, which means "how everything works." In June 2008, the Chinese site was launched with new headquarters placed in China. The URL translates to "Knowledge Information Web."On October 15, 2007, Discovery Communications announced it had bought HowStuffWorks for US$250 million. The company chose to use the name HowStuffWorks as the title of a television series on its Discovery Channel; the series, which focuses on commodities, premiered in November 2008 and is similar in style and content to other "how it works" programs like Modern Marvels. On November 2, 2009, HSW International co-founded Sharecare, developing a social QA platform through which users ask health and wellness-related questions, receiving answers from industry experts. Other co-founders in Sharecare include Jeff Arnold, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Harpo Productions, Discovery Communications and Sony Pictures Television.
On April 21, 2014, Discovery Communications announced that they had sold HowStuffWorks to Blucora for $45 million. In July 2016, Blucora announced the sale of its Infospace business, including HowStuffWorks, to OpenMail for $45 million in cash. OpenMail was renamed System1. In 2014, HowStuffWorks moved its headquarters from Buckhead to Ponce City Market, a new mixed-use development in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta. In June 2017, they announced the hiring of Cracked.com founder and former editor-in-chief Jack O'Brien for their new comedy podcasting division. In 2017, System1 spun-off the podcast department of HowStuffWorks as Stuff Media, retaining the HowStuffWorks website howstuffworks.com. In September 2018, Stuff Media announced its sale to radio broadcaster iHeartMedia for $55 million. HowStuffWorks maintains a large number of podcasts, hosted by its staff writers and editors. Stuff You Should Know: an audio podcast and video series on various topics from all fields of interest, co-hosted by senior staff writers Josh Clark and Charles "Chuck" Bryant.
In older episodes, editors Candace Keener and Chris Pollette co-hosted with Clark before Bryant became the permanent co-host. The podcast falls under the category of "Society and Culture", it was granted recognition as one of iTunes' Best of 2008 podcasts. Stuff You Missed in History Class called Fact or Fiction? History Stuff for the History Buff: important historical events hosted by Candace Keener and Josh Clark, he was replaced by Jane McGrath in November 2008, who in turn was replaced in June 2009 by Katie Lambert. In August 2009, Keener was replaced by Sarah Dowdey. In November 2010, Deblina Chakraborty replaced Lambert, Candace Keener guest co-hosting for three episodes between Lambert's departure and Chakraborty's arrival. In February 2013, Chakraborty was replaced by editor Holly Frey. In March 2013, Dowdey was replaced by Tracy Wilson. TechStuff: dedicated to demystifying technology and discussing its impact on society hosted by technology editor Chris Pollette and senior staff writer Jonathan Strickland.
In January 2013 Chris Pollette was replaced as co-host by Social Media Editor Lauren Vogelbaum. Vogelbaum left the program in 2015 and Strickland became a solo host. Topics range from the history of tech companies to the way a piece of technology works to the way things work to fictional tech. Brainstuff: a podcast hosted by Marshall Brain, it was hosted by a r
Store of value
A store of value is the function of an asset that can be saved and exchanged at a time, be predictably useful when retrieved. More a store of value is anything that retains purchasing power into the future; the most common store of value in modern times has been money, currency, or a commodity like a precious metal or financial capital. The point of any store of value is risk management due to a stable demand for the underlying asset. Money is one of the best stores of value because of its liquidity, that is, it can be exchanged for other goods and services. An individual's wealth is the total of all stores of value including both monetary and nonmonetary assets. Monetary economics is the branch of economics. Storage of value is one of the three accepted functions of money; the other functions are the medium of exchange, used as an intermediary to avoid the inconveniences of the coincidence of wants, the unit of account, which allows the value of various goods, services and liabilities to be rendered in multiples of the same unit.
Money is well-suited to storing value because of its purchasing power. It is useful because of its durability; because of its function as a store of value, large quantities of money are hoarded. Money's usefulness as a store of value declines if there are significant changes in the general level of prices. So if inflation rises, purchasing power declines and a cost is placed on those holding money. Workers who are paid in a currency, experiencing high-inflation will prefer to spend their income instead of saving it; when a currency loses its store of value, or more when a currency is perceived to lose its future purchasing power, it fails to function as money. This causes people to use currencies from other countries as a substitute. According to the Cambridge cash-balance theory, represented by the Cambridge equation, money's ability to store value is more important than its function as a medium of exchange. Cambridge claims; this is contrary to Fisher economists' belief that demand arises because money is needed for exchange.
Examples for stores of value other than money are: Bonds - value is guaranteed by a legal contract Collectibles, e.g. original art by a famous artist or antiques such as ancient artifacts or ancient coinage Gemstones Gift economy relationships – value is stored as social reputation Labor notes Livestock ownership and control Fine wine Precious metals – ownership in gold, silver and palladium Real estate – ownership in actual deeds in protectable controllable land Stored-value cards – value is physically stored on the cards in the form of binary coded dataWhile these items may be inconvenient to trade daily or store, may vary in value quite they lose all value. It need not be a capital asset at all have economic value, not known to disappear in the worst situation; the disadvantage for land and property as a store for value is that it may take time to find a buyer for those assets. In principle, this could be true of any industrial commodity, but gold and precious metals are favored, because of their demand and rarity in nature, which reduces the risk of devaluation associated with increased production and supply.
Insofar as an investment is speculative, it should not be considered a store of value because it lacks stability. An asset should only be considered a store of value. At various times throughout history and nations have famously made the mistake of believing that they could "store value" in speculative instruments, misunderstanding that ones personal choice to invest in a speculative asset does not automatically convert that asset into a proper and predictable store of value. Examples of assets that are not traditionally considered stores of value: Stocks – A share of ownership of a publicly-traded company Cryptocurrencies – digital currencies Wiens, Elmer G.. "Linguistic and Commodity Exchanges". First Nations Studies. Examines the structural differences between barter and monetary commodity exchanges and oral and written linguistic exchanges
A banknote is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were issued by commercial banks, which were required to redeem the notes for legal tender when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank; these commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank. Commercial banknotes have been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks. National banknotes are legal tender, meaning that medium of payment is allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Banks sought to ensure that they could always pay customers in coins when they presented banknotes for payment; this practice of "backing" notes with something of substance is the basis for the history of central banks backing their currencies in gold or silver. Today, most national currencies have no backing in precious metals or commodities and have value only by fiat. With the exception of non-circulating high-value or precious metal issues, coins are used for lower valued monetary units, while banknotes are used for higher values.
In China during the Han dynasty promissory notes were made of leather. Rome may have used a durable lightweight substance as promissory notes in 57 AD which have been found in London. However, Carthage was purported to have issued bank notes on parchment or leather before 146 BC. Hence Carthage may be the oldest user of lightweight promissory notes; the first known banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. During the Yuan dynasty, banknotes were adopted by the Mongol Empire. In Europe, the concept of banknotes was first introduced during the 13th century by travelers such as Marco Polo, with European banknotes appearing in 1661 in Sweden. Counterfeiting, the forgery of banknotes, is an inherent challenge in issuing currency, it is countered by anticounterfeiting measures in the printing of banknotes.
Fighting the counterfeiting of banknotes and cheques has been a principal driver of security printing methods development in recent centuries. Paper currency first developed in Tang dynasty China during the 7th century, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty; the usage of paper currency spread throughout the Mongol Empire or Yuan dynasty China. European explorers like Marco Polo introduced the concept in Europe during the 13th century. Napoleon issued paper banknotes in the early 1800s. Cash paper money originated as receipts for value held on account "value received", should not be conflated with promissory "sight bills" which were issued with a promise to convert at a date; the perception of banknotes as money has evolved over time. Money was based on precious metals. Banknotes were seen by some as an I. O. U. or promissory note: a promise to pay someone in precious metal on presentation, but were accepted - for convenience and security - in the City of London for example from the late 1600s onwards.
With the removal of precious metals from the monetary system, banknotes evolved into pure fiat money. Development of the banknote began in the Tang dynasty during the 7th century, with local issues of paper currency, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty, its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. Before the use of paper, the Chinese used coins that were circular, with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were left with a trustworthy person, the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money they had with that person. If they showed the paper to that person, they could regain their money; the Song Dynasty paper money called "jiaozi" originated from these promissory notes.
By 960 the Song dynasty, short of copper for striking coins, issued the first circulating notes. A note is a promise to redeem for some other object of value specie; the issue of credit notes is for a limited duration, at some discount to the promised amount later. The jiaozi did not replace coins during the Song Dynasty; the central government soon observed the economic advantages of printing paper money, issuing a monopoly right of several of the deposit shops to the issuance of these certificates of deposit. By the early 12th century, the amount of banknotes issued in a single year amounted to an annual rate of 26 million strings of cash coins. By the 1120s the central government stepped in and produced their own state-issued paper money. Before this point, the Song government was amassing large amounts of paper tribute, it was recorded that each year before 1101 AD, the prefecture of Xin'an alone would send 1,500,000 sheets of paper in seven different varieties to the capital at Kaifeng. In that year of 1101, the Emperor Huizong of Song decided to lessen the amount of paper taken in the tribute quota, because it was causing detrimental effects and creating heavy burdens on the people of the regio
A black market, underground economy, or shadow economy is a clandestine market or series of transactions that has some aspect of illegality or is characterized by some form of noncompliant behavior with an institutional set of rules. If the rule defines the set of goods and services whose production and distribution is prohibited by law, non-compliance with the rule constitutes a black market trade since the transaction itself is illegal. Parties engaging in the production or distribution of prohibited goods and services are members of the illegal economy. Examples include the drug trade, illegal currency transactions and human trafficking. Violations of the tax code involving income tax evasion constitute membership in the unreported economy; because tax evasion or participation in a black market activity is illegal, participants will attempt to hide their behavior from the government or regulatory authority. Cash usage is the preferred medium of exchange in illegal transactions since cash usage does not leave a footprint.
Common motives for operating in black markets are to trade contraband, avoid taxes and regulations, or skirt price controls or rationing. The totality of such activity is referred to with the definite article as a complement to the official economies, by market for such goods and services, e.g. "the black market in bush meat". The black market is distinct from the grey market, in which commodities are distributed through channels that, while legal, are unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer, the white market, in which trade is legal and official. Black money is the proceeds of an illegal transaction, on which income and other taxes have not been paid, which can only be legitimised by some form of money laundering; because of the clandestine nature of the black economy it is not possible to determine its size and scope. The literature on the black market has not established a common terminology and has instead offered many synonyms including: subterranean. There is no single underground economy.
These underground economies are omnipresent, existing in market oriented as well as in centrally planned nations, be they developed or developing. Those engaged in underground activities circumvent, escape or are excluded from the institutional system of rules, rights and enforcement penalties that govern formal agents engaged in production and exchange. Different types of underground activities are distinguished according to the particular institutional rules that they violate. Four major underground economies can be identified: the illegal economy the unreported economy the unrecorded economy the informal economyThe "illegal economy" consists of the income produced by those economic activities pursued in violation of legal statutes defining the scope of legitimate forms of commerce. Illegal economy participants engage in the production and distribution of prohibited goods and services, such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, prostitution; the "unreported economy" consists of those economic activities that circumvent or evade the institutionally established fiscal rules as codified in the tax code.
A summary measure of the unreported economy is the amount of income that should be reported to the tax authority but is not so reported. A complementary measure of the unreported economy is the "tax gap", namely the difference between the amount of tax revenues due the fiscal authority and the amount of tax revenue collected. In the U. S. unreported income is estimated to be $2 trillion resulting in a "tax gap" of $450–$600 billion. The "unrecorded economy" consists of those economic activities that circumvent the institutional rules that define the reporting requirements of government statistical agencies. A summary measure of the unrecorded economy is the amount of unrecorded income, namely the amount of income that should be recorded in national accounting systems but is not. Unrecorded income is a particular problem in transition countries that switched from a socialist accounting system to UN standard national accounting. New methods have been proposed for estimating the size of the unrecorded economy.
But there is still little consensus concerning the size of the unreported economies of transition countries. The "informal economy" comprises those economic activities that circumvent the costs and are excluded from the benefits and rights incorporated in the laws and administrative rules covering property relationships, commercial licensing, labor contracts, financial credit and social security systems. A summary measure of the informal economy is the income generated by economic agents that operate informally; the informal sector is defined as the part of an economy, not taxed, monitored by any form of government, or included in any gross national product, unlike the formal economy. In developed countries the informal sector is characterized by unreported employment; this is hidden from the state for tax, social security or labour law purposes but is legal in all other aspects. On the other hand, the term black market can be used in reference to a specific part of the economy in which contraband is traded.
Goods and services acquired illegally and/or transacted for in an illegal manner may exchange above or below the price of legal market transactions: They may be cheaper than legal market prices. The supplier taxes; this is the case in the underground economy. Criminals steal goods and sell them below the legal market price, but there is no receipt, so for
North Korean won
The won or Korean People's won is the official currency of North Korea. It is subdivided into 100 chon; the won is issued by the Central Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, based in the capital city, Pyongyang. Won is a cognate of Japanese yen. All three names derive from the Hanja 圓, which means "round shape." The won is subdivided into 100 chon. The won became the currency of North Korea on December 6, 1947, replacing the Korean yen, still in circulation. North Korean won are intended for North Korean citizens, the Bank of Trade issued a separate currency for visitors, like many other socialist states. However, North Korea made two varieties of foreign exchange certificates, one for visitors from "socialist countries" which were colored red and hence nicknamed "red won", the other for visitors from "capitalist countries" which were colored blue/green and hence known as "blue won". FECs were used until 1999 officially abolished in 2002, in favor of visitors paying directly with hard currencies.
Since at least 2012 foreign visitors can buy goods priced in'tied' won using a local debit card, which they have to credit with exchanging foreign currency at the official bank rate. One euro would provide a credit of 130 won; this card can be used for instance at the famous Pyongyang Department Store No. 1 or at the different stores at the international hotels, where the goods are priced at the tied won rate. This tied. In normal stores and markets goods are priced in what has been called the'untied' won or free market rate and regular banknotes can be used here. At for instance the Tongil Market and the Kwangbok Department Store there are semi-official exchange agents who will give in regular banknotes around 10,000 won for one euro to locals and foreign visitors alike, so 77 times as much as the tied rate. However, the prices in the normal shops outside the tied won and restricted state shops are based on this untied won rate. Since 2001, the North Korean government has abandoned the iconic rate of 2.16 won to the dollar and banks in the country now issue at rates closer to the black market rate.
More recent official rates have shown. However, rampant inflation has been eroding the North Korean won value. A report by defectors from North Korea claimed that the black market rate was ₩570 to the Chinese yuan in June 2009; as of December 6, 2018, xe.com, a website that publishes mid-market currency exchange rates, lists the exchange rate at ₩900.073 to US$1.00. The won was revalued in November 2009 for the first time in 50 years. North Koreans were given seven days to exchange a maximum of ₩100,000 in ₩1,000 notes for ₩10 notes, but after protests by some of the populace, the limit was raised to ₩150,000 in cash and ₩300,000 in bank savings; the official exchange rate at this time was around $740 but black market value of the ₩150,000 was estimated to be near $30. The revaluation, seen as a move against private market activity, wiped out many North Koreans' savings; the Times speculated that the move may have been an attempt by the North Korean government to control price inflation and destroy the fortunes of local black market money traders.
The announcement was made to foreign embassies but not in North Korean state media. Information was carried via a wire-based radio service only available within North Korea; as part of the process, the old notes ceased to be legal tender on November 30, 2009, with notes valued in the new won not being distributed until December 7, 2009. This meant that North Koreans would not be able to exchange any money for goods or services until that date and most shops and transport services had been shut down for the week; the only services that remained open were those catering to the political elite and foreigners which continued to trade in foreign currency. The measure had led to concerns amongst North Korean officials. China's Xinhua news agency described North Korean citizens in a "collective panic". Piles of old bills were set on fire in separate locations across the country, old paper notes were dumped in a stream and two black market traders were shot dead in the streets of Pyongsong by local police, according to international reports.
Authorities threatened "merciless punishment" for any person who violated the rules of the currency change. Pictures of the new notes were published on December 4, 2009, in the Chosun Shinbo, a North Korean newspaper based in Japan; the paper claimed that the measure would weaken the free market and strengthen the country's socialist system. However, the won plummeted 96 percent against the U. S. dollar in the ensuing days after revaluation. Authorities raised the limit to 500,000 won, Chosun said, promised no probe into savings of up to one million won and unlimited withdrawals if savings of more than one million are properly explained. In February 2010, some of the curbs on the free market were eased and a s