A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of called programs; these programs enable computers to perform an wide range of tasks. A "complete" computer including the hardware, the operating system, peripheral equipment required and used for "full" operation can be referred to as a computer system; this term may as well be used for a group of computers that are connected and work together, in particular a computer network or computer cluster. Computers are used as control systems for a wide variety of industrial and consumer devices; this includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls, factory devices such as industrial robots and computer-aided design, general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones. The Internet is run on computers and it connects hundreds of millions of other computers and their users.
Early computers were only conceived as calculating devices. Since ancient times, simple manual devices like the abacus aided people in doing calculations. Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms. More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calculations in the early 20th century; the first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II. The speed and versatility of computers have been increasing ever since then. Conventionally, a modern computer consists of at least one processing element a central processing unit, some form of memory; the processing element carries out arithmetic and logical operations, a sequencing and control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information. Peripheral devices include input devices, output devices, input/output devices that perform both functions. Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source and they enable the result of operations to be saved and retrieved.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of the word "computer" was in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait: "I haue read the truest computer of Times, the best Arithmetician that euer breathed, he reduceth thy dayes into a short number." This usage of the term referred to a human computer, a person who carried out calculations or computations. The word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. During the latter part of this period women were hired as computers because they could be paid less than their male counterparts. By 1943, most human computers were women. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations; the Online Etymology Dictionary gives the first attested use of "computer" in the 1640s, meaning "one who calculates". The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the use of the term to mean "'calculating machine' is from 1897."
The Online Etymology Dictionary indicates that the "modern use" of the term, to mean "programmable digital electronic computer" dates from "1945 under this name. Devices have been used to aid computation for thousands of years using one-to-one correspondence with fingers; the earliest counting device was a form of tally stick. Record keeping aids throughout the Fertile Crescent included calculi which represented counts of items livestock or grains, sealed in hollow unbaked clay containers; the use of counting rods is one example. The abacus was used for arithmetic tasks; the Roman abacus was developed from devices used in Babylonia as early as 2400 BC. Since many other forms of reckoning boards or tables have been invented. In a medieval European counting house, a checkered cloth would be placed on a table, markers moved around on it according to certain rules, as an aid to calculating sums of money; the Antikythera mechanism is believed to be the earliest mechanical analog "computer", according to Derek J. de Solla Price.
It was designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was discovered in 1901 in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, has been dated to c. 100 BC. Devices of a level of complexity comparable to that of the Antikythera mechanism would not reappear until a thousand years later. Many mechanical aids to calculation and measurement were constructed for astronomical and navigation use; the planisphere was a star chart invented by Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī in the early 11th century. The astrolabe was invented in the Hellenistic world in either the 1st or 2nd centuries BC and is attributed to Hipparchus. A combination of the planisphere and dioptra, the astrolabe was an analog computer capable of working out several different kinds of problems in spherical astronomy. An astrolabe incorporating a mechanical calendar computer and gear-wheels was invented by Abi Bakr of Isfahan, Persia in 1235. Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī invented the first mechanical geared lunisolar calendar astrolabe, an early fixed-wired knowledge processing machine with a gear train and gear-wheels, c. 1000 AD.
The sector, a calculating instrument used for solving problems in proportion, trigonometry and division, for various functions, such as squares and cube roots, was developed in
A watch is a timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep working despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket; the study of timekeeping is known as horology. Watches progressed in the 17th century from spring-powered clocks, which appeared as early as the 14th century. During most of its history the watch was a mechanical device, driven by clockwork, powered by winding a mainspring, keeping time with an oscillating balance wheel; these are called mechanical watches. In the 1960s the electronic quartz watch was invented, powered by a battery and kept time with a vibrating quartz crystal. By the 1980s the quartz watch had taken over most of the market from the mechanical watch; this is called the quartz revolution. Developments in the 2010s include smartwatches, which are elaborate computer-like electronic devices designed to be worn on a wrist.
They incorporate timekeeping functions, but these are only a small subset of the smartwatch's facilities. In general, modern watches display the day, date and year. For mechanical watches, various extra features called "complications", such as moon-phase displays and the different types of tourbillon, are sometimes included. Most electronic quartz watches, on the other hand, include time-related features such as timers and alarm functions. Furthermore, some modern smartwatches incorporate calculators, GPS and Bluetooth technology or have heart-rate monitoring capabilities, some of them use radio clock technology to correct the time. Today, most watches in the market that are inexpensive and medium-priced, used for timekeeping, have quartz movements. However, expensive collectible watches, valued more for their elaborate craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal and glamorous design than for simple timekeeping have traditional mechanical movements though they are less accurate and more expensive than electronic ones.
As of 2018, the most expensive watch sold at auction is the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication, the world's most complicated mechanical watch until 1989, fetching 24 million US dollars in Geneva on November 11, 2014. Watches evolved from portable spring-driven clocks. Watches were not worn in pockets until the 17th century. One account says that the word "watch" came from the Old English word woecce which meant "watchman", because it was used by town watchmen to keep track of their shifts at work. Another says that the term came from 17th century sailors, who used the new mechanisms to time the length of their shipboard watches. A great leap forward in accuracy occurred in 1657 with the addition of the balance spring to the balance wheel, an invention disputed both at the time and since between Robert Hooke and Christiaan Huygens; this innovation increased watches' accuracy enormously, reducing error from several hours per day to 10 minutes per day, resulting in the addition of the minute hand to the face from around 1680 in Britain and 1700 in France.
The increased accuracy of the balance wheel focused attention on errors caused by other parts of the movement, igniting a two-century wave of watchmaking innovation. The first thing to be improved was the escapement; the verge escapement was replaced in quality watches by the cylinder escapement, invented by Thomas Tompion in 1695 and further developed by George Graham in the 1720s. Improvements in manufacturing such as the tooth-cutting machine devised by Robert Hooke allowed some increase in the volume of watch production, although finishing and assembling was still done by hand until well into the 19th century. A major cause of error in balance wheel timepieces, caused by changes in elasticity of the balance spring from temperature changes, was solved by the bimetallic temperature compensated balance wheel invented in 1765 by Pierre Le Roy and improved by Thomas Earnshaw; the lever escapement was the single most important technological breakthrough, was invented by Thomas Mudge in 1759 and improved by Josiah Emery in 1785, although it only came into use from about 1800 onwards, chiefly in Britain.
The British had predominated in watch manufacture for much of the 17th and 18th centuries, but maintained a system of production, geared towards high-quality products for the elite. Although there was an attempt to modernise clock manufacture with mass production techniques and the application of duplicating tools and machinery by the British Watch Company in 1843, it was in the United States that this system took off. Aaron Lufkin Dennison started a factory in 1851 in Massachusetts that used interchangeable parts, by 1861 it was running a successful enterprise incorporated as the Waltham Watch Company; the concept of the wristwatch goes back to the production of the earliest watches in the 16th century. Elizabeth I of England received a wristwatch from Robert Dudley in 1571, described as an armed watch; the oldest surviving wristwatch is one given to Joséphine de Beauharnais. From the beginning, wristwatches were exclusively worn by women, while men used pocket watches up until the early 20th century.
Wristwatches were first worn by military men towards the end of the 19th century, when the importance of synchronizing maneuvers during war, without revealing the plan to the enemy through signaling, was recognized. The Garstin Company of London patented a "Watch Wristlet" design in 1893, but they were producing similar designs from the 1880s
In economics, a luxury good is a good for which demand increases more than proportionally as income rises, so that expenditures on the good become a greater proportion of overall spending. Luxury goods are in contrast to necessity goods, where demand increases proportionally less than income. Luxury goods is used synonymously with superior goods and Veblen goods; the word "luxury" originated from the Latin word “Luxus,” which means indulgence of the senses, regardless of cost. Luxury goods have high income elasticity of demand: as people become wealthier, they will buy proportionately more luxury goods; this means, that should there be a decline in income its demand will drop more than proportionately. Income elasticity of demand is not constant with respect to income, may change sign at different levels of income; that is to say, a luxury good may become a necessity good or an inferior good at different income levels. Some luxury products have been claimed to be examples of Veblen goods, with a positive price elasticity of demand: for example, making a perfume more expensive can increase its perceived value as a luxury good to such an extent that sales can go up, rather than down.
Although the technical term luxury good is independent of the goods' quality, they are considered to be goods at the highest end of the market in terms of quality and price. Classic luxury goods include haute couture clothing and luggage. Many markets have a luxury segment including, for example, yacht, bottled water, tea, watches, clothes and high fidelity. Luxuries may be services; the hiring of full-time or live-in domestic servants is a luxury reflecting disparities of income. Some financial services in some brokerage houses, can be considered luxury services by default because persons in lower-income brackets do not use them. Luxury goods have special luxury packaging to differentiate the products from mainstream competitors; the three dominant trends are the main factors that have accelerated the rapid growth of the industry, including the customer base and variations in the consumptions of different brands. The three dominant trends in the global luxury goods market are globalization and diversification.
Consolidation involves the growth of big companies and ownership of brands across many segments of luxury products. Examples include LVMH, Kering, which dominate the market in areas ranging from luxury drinks to fashion and cosmetics. Global consumer companies, such as Procter & Gamble, are attracted to the industry, due to the difficulty of making a profit in the mass consumer goods market; the customer base for various luxury goods continue to be more culturally diversified, this presents more unseen challenges and new opportunities to companies in this industry. The luxury goods market has been on an upward climb for many years. Apart from the setback caused by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the industry has performed well in 2000. In that year, the world luxury goods market – which includes drinks, cosmetics, watches, luggage, handbags – was worth close to $170 billion and grew 7.9 percent. The United States has been the largest regional market for luxury goods and is estimated to continue to be the leading personal luxury goods market in 2013, with a value of 62.5 billion euros.
The largest sector in this category was luxury drinks, including premium whisky, Cognac. This sector was the only one; the watches and jewelry section showed the strongest performance, growing in value by 23.3 percent, while the clothing and accessories section grew 11.6 percent between 1996 and 2000, to $32.8 billion. North America is the largest regional market for luxury goods; the largest ten markets for luxury goods account for 83 percent of overall sales, include Japan, United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Brazil and Switzerland. In 2012, China surpassed Japan as the world's largest luxury market. China's luxury consumption accounts for over 25% of the global market; the Economist Intelligence Unit published a report on the outlook for luxury goods in Asia which explores the trends and forecasts for the luxury goods market across key markets in Asia. In 2014, the luxury sector is expected to grow over the next 10 years because of 440 million consumers spending a total of 880 billion euros, or $1.2 trillion.
Though verging on the meaningless in modern marketing, "luxury" remains a legitimate and current technical term in art history for objects that are highly decorated to high standards and use expensive materials. The term is used for medieval manuscripts to distinguish between practical working books for normal use, illuminated manuscripts, that were bound in treasure bindings with metalwork and jewels; these are much larger, with less text on each page and many illustrations, if liturgical texts were usually kept on the altar or sacristy rather any library that the church or monastery who owned them may have had. Secular luxury manuscripts were commissioned by the wealthy and differed in the same ways from cheaper books."Luxury" may be used for other applied arts where both utilitarian and luxury versions of the same types of objects were made. This might cover metalwork, glass and armour, a wide range of objects, it is much less used for objects with no function beyond being an artwork: paintings and sculpture though the disparity in cost between an expensive and cheap work may have been as large.
With increasing "democratization" of luxury goods, new product categories have be
Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods or services sold in a given time period. The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in response to an acquisition, requisition or a direct interaction with the buyer at the point of sale. There is a passing of title of the item, the settlement of a price, in which agreement is reached on a price for which transfer of ownership of the item will occur; the seller, not the purchaser executes the sale and it may be completed prior to the obligation of payment. In the case of indirect interaction, a person who sells goods or service on behalf of the owner is known as a salesman or saleswoman or salesperson, but this refers to someone selling goods in a store/shop, in which case other terms are common, including salesclerk, shop assistant, retail clerk. In common law countries, sales are governed by the common law and commercial codes. In the United States, the laws governing sales of goods are somewhat uniform to the extent that most jurisdictions have adopted Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, albeit with some non-uniform variations.
A persons or organization expressing an interest in acquiring the offered item of value is referred to as a potential buyer, prospective customer or prospect. Buying and selling are understood to be two sides of the same "coin" or transaction. Both seller and buyer engage in a process of negotiation to consummate the exchange of values; the exchange, or selling, process has implied identifiable stages. It is implied that the selling process will proceed and ethically so that the parties end up nearly rewarded; the stages of selling, buying, involve getting acquainted, assessing each party's need for the other's item of value, determining if the values to be exchanged are equivalent or nearly so, or, in buyer's terms, "worth the price". Sometimes, sellers have to use their own experiences when selling products with appropriate discounts. Although the skills required are different, from a management viewpoint, sales is a part of marketing. Sales form a separate grouping in a corporate structure, employing separate specialist operatives known as salespersons.
Selling is considered by many to be a sort of persuading "art". Contrary to popular belief, the methodological approach of selling refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesman relates his or her offering of a product or service in return enabling the buyer to achieve their goal in an economic way. According to a 2018 survey of salespeople, selling has become more difficult in recent years due to changes in technology and general access to prospects. While the sales process refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, the definition of the selling is somewhat ambiguous due to the close nature of advertising, public relations, direct marketing. Selling is the profession-wide term, much like marketing defines a profession. Attempts have been made to understand, in the sales profession, and, not. There are many articles looking at marketing, advertising and public relations as ways to create a unique transaction. Many believe that the focus of selling is on the human agents involved in the exchange between buyer and seller.
Effective selling requires a systems approach, at minimum involving roles that sell, enable selling, develop sales capabilities. Selling involves salespeople who possess a specific set of sales skills and the knowledge required to facilitate the exchange of value between buyers and sellers, unique from marketing, etc. Within these three tenets, the following definition of professional selling is offered by the American Society for Training and Development: Team selling is one way to influence sales. Team selling is "a group of people representing the sales department and other functional areas in the firm, such as finance and research and development". Team selling came about in the 1990s through total quality management. TQM occurs when companies work to improve their customer satisfaction by improving all of their operations. Marketing and sales differ but have the same goal. Selling is the final stage in marketing. A marketing plan includes pricing, promotion and product. A marketing department in an organization has the goals of increasing the desirability and value of the products and services to the customer, increasing the number and engagement of successful interactions between potential customers and the organization.
Achieving this goal may involve the sales team using promotional techniques such as advertising, sales promotion and public relations, creating new sales channels, or creating new products. It can include encouraging the potential customer to visit the organization's website, contact the organization for more information, or interact with the organization via social media channels such as Twitter and blogs. Social values play a major role in consumer decision processes. Marketing is the whole of the work on persuasion made for the whole of the target people. Sales is the process of persuasion and effort from one person to one person, or one person to a corporation, in order to make a living resource enter the company; this may occur over the phone or digitally. The field of sales process engineering views "sales" as the output of a larger system, not just as the output of one department; the larger system includes many functional areas within an organization. From this perspec
An alcoholic drink is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. Drinking alcohol plays an important social role in many cultures. Most countries have laws regulating the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages; some countries ban such activities but alcoholic drinks are legal in most parts of the world. The global alcoholic drink industry exceeded $1 trillion in 2014. Alcohol is a depressant, which in low doses causes euphoria, reduces anxiety, improves sociability. In higher doses, it causes drunkenness, unconsciousness, or death. Long-term use can lead to alcohol abuse, physical dependence, alcoholism. Alcohol is one of the most used recreational drugs in the world with about 33% of people being current drinkers; as of 2016 women on average drink 0.7 drinks and males 1.7 drinks a day. In 2015, among Americans, 86% of adults had consumed alcohol at some point, 70% had drunk it in the last year, 56% in the last month.
Alcoholic drinks are divided into three classes—beers and spirits—and their alcohol content is between 3% and 50%. Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggest that intentionally fermented drinks existed at least as early as the Neolithic period. Many animals consume alcohol when given the opportunity and are affected in much the same way as humans, although humans are the only species known to produce alcoholic drinks intentionally. Beer is a beverage fermented from grain mash, it is made from barley or a blend of several grains and flavored with hops. Most beer is carbonated as part of the fermentation process. If the fermented mash is distilled the drink becomes a spirit. In the Andean region, the most common beer is chicha, made from grain or fruits. Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world. Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic drink made from any fruit juice. Cider alcohol content varies from 1.2% ABV to 8.5% or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, cider may be called "apple wine".
Mead is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to more than 20%; the defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the drink's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. Pulque is the Mesoamerican fermented drink made from the "honey water" of maguey cacti; the drink distilled from pulque is mescal. Wine is a fermented beverage produced from sometimes other fruits. Wine involves a longer fermentation process than beer and a long aging process, resulting in an alcohol content of 9%–16% ABV. "Fruit wines" are made from fruits other than grapes, such as cherries, or apples. Sake is a popular example of "rice wine". Sparkling wine like French Champagne, Catalan Cava or Italian Prosecco can be made by means of a secondary fermentation. A distilled drink or liquor is an alcoholic drink produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables.
Unsweetened, alcoholic drinks that have an alcohol content of at least 20% ABV are called spirits. For the most common distilled drinks, such as whiskey and vodka, the alcohol content is around 40%; the term hard liquor is used in North America to distinguish distilled drinks from undistilled ones. Vodka, baijiu, whiskey and soju are examples of distilled drinks. Distilling eliminates some of the congeners. Freeze distillation concentrates ethanol along with fusel alcohols in applejack. Fortified wine is wine, such as sherry, to which a distilled beverage has been added. Fortified wine is distinguished from spirits made from wine in that spirits are produced by means of distillation, while fortified wine is wine that has had a spirit added to it. Many different styles of fortified wine have been developed, including port, madeira, marsala and the aromatized wine vermouth. Rectified spirit called "neutral grain spirit", is alcohol, purified by means of "rectification"; the term neutral refers to the spirit's lack of the flavor that would have been present if the mash ingredients had been distilled to a lower level of alcoholic purity.
Rectified spirit lacks any flavoring added to it after distillation. Other kinds of spirits, such as whiskey, are distilled to a lower alcohol percentage to preserve the flavor of the mash. Rectified spirit is a clear, flammable liquid that may contain as much as 95% ABV, it is used for medicinal purposes. It may be a grain spirit or it may be made from other plants, it is used in mixed drinks and tinctures, as a household solvent. Alcohol has significant negative health effects, including increased risk of cancer. Negative effects are related to the amount consumed with no safe lower limit seen. Wine, distilled spirits and other alcoholic drinks contain ethyl alcohol and alcohol consumption has short-term psychological and physiological effects on the user. Different concentrations of alcohol in the human body have different effects on a person; the effects of alcohol depend on the amount an individual has drunk, the percentage of alcohol in the wine, beer or spirits and the timespan that the consumption took place, the amount of food eaten and whether an indiv
Freemium, a portmanteau of the words "free" and "premium", is a pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but money is charged for additional features, services, or virtual or physical goods. The business model has been in use by the software industry since the 1980s as a licensing scheme. A subset of this model used by the video game industry is called free-to-play; the business model has been in use for software since the 1980s. This is in a time-limited or feature-limited version to promote a paid-for full version; the model is suited to software as the cost of distribution is negligible. Thus little is lost by giving away free software licenses as long as significant cannibalization is avoided; the term freemium to describe this model appears to have been created only much in response to a 2006 blog post by venture capitalist Fred Wilson summarizing the model:Give your service away for free ad supported but maybe not, acquire a lot of customers efficiently through word of mouth, referral networks, organic search marketing, etc. offer premium priced value added services or an enhanced version of your service to your customer base.
Jarid Lukin of Alacra, one of Wilson's portfolio companies suggested the term "freemium" for this model. In 2009, Chris Anderson published the book Free, which examines the popularity of this business model; as well as for traditional software and services, it is now often used by Web 2.0 and open source companies. In 2014, Eric Seufert published the book Freemium Economics, which attempts to deconstruct the economic principles of the freemium model and prescribe a framework for implementing them into software products; the freemium model is related to tiered services. It has become a popular model, with notable examples including LinkedIn, in the form of a "soft" paywall, such as those employed by The New York Times and by Press+. A freemium model is sometimes used to build a consumer base when the marginal cost of producing extra units is low. In the US, in the Christian 501 3 religious education sector, Christian Leaders Institute uses the freemium model to train Christian leaders. CLI offers free training to individuals, who receive "unofficial" certificates and degrees at no charge.
The infrastructure cost to provide this training and these "unofficial" awards is supported by donations to the mission, which receive tax deductions in the United States. If CLI students want official awards, they are required to make minimal "non-tax deductible" donations that cover the costs of individual processing and delivery. Other examples include free-to-play games -- video games. Video game publishers of free-to-play games rely on other means to generate revenue – such as optional in-game virtual items that can be purchased by players to enhance game-play or aesthetics. Ways in which the product or service may be restricted in the free version include: Limited features: A free video chat client may not include three-way video calling. Most free-to-play games fall into this category, as they offer virtual items that are either impossible or slow to purchase with in-game currency but can be purchased with real-world money. Limited capacity: For example, SQL Server Express is restricted to databases of 10GB or less.
Limited use license: For example, most Autodesk or Microsoft software products with full features are free for students with an educational license. Some apps, like CCleaner, are free for personal use only. Limited use time: Most free-to-play games permit the user to play the game consecutively for a limited number of levels or turns. Limited support: Priority or real-time technical support may not be available for non-paying users. For example, Comodo offers all its software products free of charge, its premium offerings only add various kinds of technical support. Limited or no access to online services that are only available by purchasing periodic subscriptionsSome software and services make all of the features available for free for a trial period and at the end of that period revert to operating as a feature-limited free version; the user can unlock the premium features on payment of a license fee, as per the freemium model. Some businesses use a variation of the model known as "open core", in which the unsupported, feature-limited free version is open-source software, but versions with additional features and official support are commercial software.
In June 2011, PC World reported that traditional anti-virus software had started to lose market share to freemium anti-virus products. By September 2012, all but two of the 50 highest-grossing apps in the Games section of Apple's iTunes App Store supported in-app purchases, leading Wired to conclude that game developers were now required to choose between including such purchases or foregoing a substantial revenue stream. Beginning in 2013, the digital distribution platform Steam began to add numerous Free to play and Early Access games to its library, many of which utilized Freemium marketing for their in-game economies. Due to criticism that the multiplayer games falling under this were pay-to-win in nature or were low-quality and never finished development, Valve Corporation has since added stricter rules to its Early Access and Free-to-play policies. Freemium games have come under criticism from critics. Many are labelled with the derogatory term Pay2Win, a term which criticizes freemium games for giving an