By submitting an idea to the Creativity Pool, you dedicate it to the public domain. This means that anyone is free to use it in any way he or she wishes without asking your permission, including commercialization.
2. IF YOU PLAN TO EARN MONEY WITH YOUR IDEA OR INVENTION, OR WISH TO MARKET IT ON YOUR OWN, DO NOT SUBMIT IT TO THE CREATIVITY POOL! THE CREATIVITY POOL IS AN INSTITUTION FOR DONATING UNUSED IDEAS FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO EXPLOIT AND ENJOY. ALSO, PLEASE NOTE THAT BY DISCLOSING AN IDEA IN A PUBLIC PLACE LIKE THIS SITE, YOU AUTOMATICALLY LOSE THE RIGHT TO PATENT IT!
3. The Creativity Pool tries to support a give & take mentality in times where most people enviously hold on to what they already have. In the light of this mission, the Creativity Pool is designed for entertainment purposes: be happy to show your creativity to the world, and submit your ideas with a smile. If anybody really decides to realize your idea, that should be the gravy. By submitting your idea to the Creativity Pool, you allow anyone in the world to make something out of it. Think about it for a second. If your idea was great and they do a great job, they may earn a fortune with it. Feel happy for them!
4. When submitting an idea, please name a reward you would like from anyone who makes use of your idea. Rewards are only of a symbolic nature and do not represent any kind of payment. If your idea was for an as yet uninvented product, getting this product for free could be a good choice. As a rule of the thumb, your reward should never influence the decision whether your idea should be realized at all - in other words: it shouldn't be too high. NO MONEY FEES OR PERCENTAGES! - Please also remember that there should be some kind of connection between your reward and the idea you had (i.e. "wash my dishes" will not apply in most cases). If you can't think of an adequate reward, it might help to take a look at the rewards already posted on the website. If you don't care for a reward, you don't have to name one.
5. Please note that there is no legal right for any kind of compensation. The Creativity Pool is designed to work to everybody's advantage, and its basic cornerstones are gratitude and fairness (in other words, the Creativity Pool is based on a big gentlemen's agreement with the world :-). However, it's up to the people visiting this site to employ this fairness. Also, please remember that there are more than 6 billion people out there and it is entirely possible that someone had an idea before you did. If you want to reduce the likelihood of submitting something that already exists, use the internet and do some research. Under no circumstances does the fact that an idea you have submitted gets posted on this site confirm that your submission was actually new.
6. If you use an idea from this site, please show your gratitude and fairness to the inventor (hey, you got a fabulous idea for free, didn't you?). Don't forget where that idea came from, and, if possible, kindly notify the email@example.com of any progress. Usually, the rewards for good ideas are not so high that rewarding the authors should be a matter of serious consideration. Sticking to your part of the deal will earn you good fortune and a little bit of publicity on this site. If for some reason the award mentioned does not seem adequate, consider giving something else. If the idea you got from the Creativity Pool makes you a billionaire, well, good for you, too. Nobody will prevent you from showing more generosity - but you don't have to.
7. Be sensible when applying these rules: naturally, a kid using an idea as a stimulus for a school science project will not have to give a costly reward (unless of course the project turns into something commercially successful). Just the same, someone who has been inspired to build a prototype of an invention in his own garage will not be required to build a second one for the person who had the idea (although everyone is welcome to do so :-). Remember that the main purpose of this site is the realization of ideas - after all, that's what ideas are for. Any feedback about efforts in this direction will be welcome.
8. It is CreativityPool.com's sole responsibility and right to decide which ideas to add to the database and which ideas not to include. Minor changes may be made to your submissions in order to enhance readability. Nevertheless, it's the submitters (and nobody else) who are responsible for the contents of the ideas published in the Creativity Pool. The Creativity Pool is in no way responsible for the consequences of views expressed or ideas submitted by its users, including but not limited to copyright infringement.
9. Please submit your own ideas only. Submitting the ideas of others can only make our lives complicated and unpleasant. Don't do it.
10. Should you encounter anything annoying on this website, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org. CreativityPool.com is trying to do the best job possible, but if you think it could still be better, we might as well find a solution together. Also, if for any specific reason you believe that "this" - or maybe even "that" - won't work, please contact the Creativity Pool with an alternative.
Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research (ZIR) was formed in 1978 to compile, analyze, and
distribute brokerage research to both institutional and individual investors. The
guiding principle behind our work is the belief that there must be a good reason
why the brokerage firms spend over a billion dollars a year to research stocks to
recommend to their clients. Obviously these investment experts must know
something special that is indicative about the future direction of stock prices. We
were bound and determined to unlock that secret knowledge and make it available
to our clients to improve their investment results.
This massive undertaking requires us to annually process over 500,000 pages of
brokerage research produced by the 4,000 investment analysts employed by 250
U.S. and Canadian brokerage firms. In addition, each week we record 25,000
earnings estimate revisions and changes in brokerage firm recommendations.
Zacks provides this important data through our own web site at Zacks.com and
through partnerships with hundreds of other leading web sites who display our
information. This extensive outreach makes Zacks research the most widely used
investment research on the web.
Creation of the Zacks Rank
With this wealth of information at our disposal the team at Zacks set out to find
patterns in the brokerage research data that would serve as an accurate indicator
of the future direction of a stock. What we discovered is that…
position at the earliest possible stage to avoid unnecessary losses.
Momentum and Technical Analysis Investors
These folks are generally interested in turning short-term profits based on the
general direction/momentum of the stock and changes in daily trading volume.
Investors Business Daily (IBD) and other charting software providers are the
biggest "torch-bearers" for this movement.
The Zacks Rank is a great fundamental companion to folks who rely on technical
analysis and momentum because it tips them off before most other systems.
Essentially we are talking about "cause and effect". The cause of the move is first
sounded off by the Zacks Rank system that looks for positive revisions in
earnings estimates. This upward shift in earnings estimates prompts more and
more investors to find interest in the company with the effect being that the shares
in the company start on a bull run. Volume increases, as does the stock price.
However, if you were just to rely on technical analysis, then your chart would not
show a buy signal 'til the rally already started. i.e. In many cases you will be able
to get in right at the outset of the major move in the stock which will increase
your total ROI on the trade. (To see how this happens refer back to Step 4 of
"Zacks Rank in Action -What Causes Stocks to Rise" on page 11.)
Momentum and technical analysis investors should concentrate on stocks with a
Zacks Rank of 1. More specifically, those stocks most recently added to the #1
list have the best chance to outperform the market over the next 1-3 months. Our
strength in this category was best summed up by the Zacks customer below…
Zacks Rank – Limitations
For as powerful an investment tool as the Zacks Rank is, it is by no means fool
proof. Below are listed the main limitations of the Zacks Rank. Without
considering these potential shortfalls, then you may be apt to make poor
investment decisions that greatly affect your personal wealth and that is the last
thing we want to see happen. So, be sure to understand this section fully before
you attempt to use the Zacks Rank to enhance your investment returns.
Performance Relative to the Market
The most powerful force affecting any individual stock is the movement of the
overall market. As such it is very difficult for a stock to rise in the face of a bear
market. We can see countless examples of this happening during the market
downdraft since 2000. Thus, it is better to think of the Zacks Rank as an
indication of a stocks relative performance to the overall market. For example, if
the market is tumbling down then a #1 Ranked stock will most likely be down,
but not as much as the overall market. And when the overall market is up, then a
#5 ranked stock may very well be up, but not to the same degree as the average
stock. Yet it is interesting to note that the Zacks #1 Ranked stocks overall did
produce profits in 2000, 2001 and 2002 (+14.3%, +24.3% and +1.2% respectively
during this bear market stretch.)
Short Term Indicator
With 16 years of data behind us we know conclusively that the effects of earnings
estimate revisions are good for a 1-3 month time frame. This makes sense when
you consider that every 3 months a company will provide a new round of earnings
that wipes the slate clean on any previous announcements. Yet, even long term
investors get caught up with the fever for wanting to own just #1 stocks.
Unfortunately being long term and a #1 ranked zealot are not compatible.
Remember that only the top 5% of companies receiving positive estimate
revisions in the last 60 days will be a Zacks Rank of 1. There is pretty stiff
competition for those slots in the top 5% and a company can be on today and be
off tomorrow if another company receives stronger estimate revisions. However,
that company that slipped out of the #1 ranked position may still be an excellent
investment. So, long term investors should be comfortable with ownership of
shares that are ranked between 1-3. Then use any slippages to #4 or #5 to trim or
completely sell your position in the stock.
Blind to Everything, But 4 Measures
There are only 4 measures used to calculate the Zacks Rank. Three of the four measures look at
analyst earnings estimate revisions; Agreement, Magnitude, and Upside. The fourth measure
considers the size of the most recent earnings surprise. (Be sure to review this section starting on
page 6). You will note there is no accommodation for other fundamental metrics such as P/E,
book value, ROE, ROA, debt ratios, growth rates etc. Nor does it consider technical attributes
such as recent changes in price or volume. Thus, in reality the Zacks Rank acts as an initial filter
that provides a raw list of potentially successful investment candidates. With these raw lists you
can do additional screening according to your own investment criteria. You will find a robust
screener for free on Zacks.com that is perfect for this task.
Market Cap Bias
The larger the company, the more analysts are likely to cover the stock. The more
analyst to cover the stock the tougher it is for the stock to score big on any of the
4 measures of the Zacks Rank. Thus, the list of Zacks #1 Ranked stocks will be
over represented by small to mid cap stocks. That is why a large cap stock with a
Zacks Rank of 2 is actually a very good thing and one with a Zacks Rank of 3
may still provide excellent upside potential relative to the overall market.
Remember to keep a diversified portfolio that includes a mix of stocks by market
cap and by industry (discussed further below).
Too Many Speculative Stocks
Speculative stocks (such as technology, internet and bio-tech) have the hardest to
predict earnings outcomes. That’s because small companies make up the bulk of
the speculative stock universe and due to their size they do not get as much
coverage by brokerage analysts. Further the uniqueness of their product lines
makes revenue and profit predictions very difficult. When things go well for these
companies, then the above attributes lead to exceptionally high scoring for the
Zacks Rank. So, those who strictly adhere to the buying stocks Ranked #1 may
end up having a disproportionate number of small growth companies in the tech,
internet and bio-tech industries. At times that may be of benefit, but that has
certainly not been the case since March 2000. Here again, the need to keep a
diversified portfolio should always outweigh an investors desire to blindly invest
in #1 stocks because you do not want to be severely over-weighted in any one
Zacks.com – Profit from the Pros
Zacks.com was designed to help individuals become more successful investors by
tapping into insights and recommendations from those rare few experts with a
track record of beating the street. And that is why our motto is “Profit from the
Pros.” The first step in the journey to help people Profit from the Pros was
accomplished by making the Zacks Rank available to the public for the first time
on the Zacks.com web site (after many years of just being available to
professional investors and Wall Street insiders). We then added many additional
features to the site to further empower individuals to research, select and track
their investments more effectively. Below you will find a synopsis of the main
features of the Zacks.com web site that you can use to become a more successful
Zacks #1 Ranked List – Updated Weekly
Every Monday we will keep you posted of all the new additions and deletions to the Zacks #1
Ranked list. You can see this list in full and broken down by industry. You will definitely want to be up to date on the changes on this exclusive list.
Republican Ex-EPA Chief Criticizes Bush
"It's almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection." Why, what sort of pinko environmental extremist would say such a thing? Meet Russell Train, a Republican, chief of the U.S. EPA under Nixon and Ford, co-chair of Conservationists for Bush during the 1988 presidential campaign, and one fed-up dude. Claiming Bush II has betrayed a legacy of eco-friendly conservatives that stretched from Theodore Roosevelt to George H.W. Bush, Train yesterday vowed to vote for John Kerry in November. He was joined at a news conference -- organized by Environment2004, a group campaigning to oust Bush -- by two New Hampshire Republicans, state Rep. Jim Pilliod and former state Sen. Rick Russman, who stopped short of endorsing Kerry but stressed the importance of environmental issues.
straight to the source: The Boston Globe, Associated Press, Erik Stetson, 19 Jul 2004
The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Bureau's financial investigations program has launched the Cornerstone program a year ago this month to target alternative financing mechanisms that terrorist and criminal organizations use to earn, move and store money. The initiative has 400 agents working at 27 field offices around the country.
While the program is meeting its current mission, ICE plans to add more agents in the future, said Marcy Forman, the agency's director of investigations, at a forum in Washington.
"Everybody can always use more [agents], but I think we have enough right now to address the threats that we're identifying," Forman said, adding that "as more and more time goes on, more and more agents will be trained to assume money laundering investigations." She did not know how many additional agents would be hired.
"A key component in our training academy is Cornerstone and money laundering," Forman added. "Any time a new recruit comes in, they are trained in the money-laundering aspects of the various authorities [we have], as well as Cornerstone."
The program has successfully integrated personnel from the now defunct Customs Service and the Immigrations and Naturalization Service, said Forman, who was previously with Customs.
"Any agent, whether they are legacy Customs or legacy INS or from another agency, takes a period of time to learn these methods on how to detect and then follow the money," she said.
ICE Assistant Secretary Michael Garcia acknowledged, however, that his bureau faces constraints. The Washington Times reported Tuesday that ICE has 18 fugitive teams consisting of about 200 officers trying to track down and arrest about 400,000 criminal aliens and absconders.
"We have limited resources," Garcia said during the forum. "What we have to do, like every force and agency has to do, is prioritize how we use them. I think we've done a good job at that."
The Government Accountability Office concluded in a November 2003 report that government agencies should investigate how terrorists might use alternative financing schemes.
"Terrorists earn assets through illicit trade in myriad commodities, such as drugs, weapons, cigarettes and systems, such as charities, owing to their profitability," GAO said. "Like other criminals, terrorists can trade any commodity in an illegal fashion, as evidenced by their reported involvement in trading a variety of counterfeit goods."
Forman said Cornerstone has uncovered activities by criminal organizations, but officials don't know whether it has disrupted terrorist plots.
"We believe we may have choked funds that may have been destined for terrorists or terrorist acts from leaving the country," she said. "We've identified methods and means of these various financial systems, to include charities and nongovernmental organizations, that we believe were facilitators of funds destined to terrorists."
She said agents are investigating transactions within the United States that are suspected of financing terrorism, but nothing definite has been confirmed.
"As long as we know there's an illegal act involved," she said, "we'll just choke off the funds and then work the investigation from there to determine what the use of those funds was supposed to be for."
advocacy group Partnership for Public Service
Since Congress last acted to strengthen whistleblower protections, in 1994, the appeals court has ruled in 95 cases, finding against the whistleblower in 94 of them. In 1999, in Lachance v. White, the court determined that an employee claiming retaliation based on whistleblowing would have to have "irrefragable"--or irrefutable--proof that he had disclosed violations of law. The standard is considered nearly impossible to reach, according to Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower protection group in Washington.