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Make Use Of Grid System In Web Designing To Create Uniformity And Consistency

Grids can benefit you in web designing if you feel rigid in your designs. Grids are used by interior designers to design homes. City planners and print designers also make sue of grids. By making sue of grids to design your web page you can create a layout which looks right to the audience. Do not sue the grid to fill up space. If you decide to fill each square of the grid designing a web page can be a mundane task. You can make sue of the grid to organize the s pace which you have intelligently. You can use the grid in many ways to your advantage.

Making use of grids
You can add as many sub divisions which you need to the grid. Make sure that you do not add random lines after you have created the grid. You must place the elements on the grid line and ensure that they fit into the width and height of the grid lines. Most effective designs created by web designers make sue of the grid. Usually layout which is based on grids is more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes of the audience. It is more balanced than designs which are not based on grids. A grid will always lend a structure to your website and improve its usability.

Creating layouts
With the help of a grid you can easily decide on the height and width of the different elements on the page. You will come across grids which break a design into horizontal rows. A grid is ideal for both fluid and fixed width layouts. Select a grid system which caters to your requirements. Do not make sue of a 20 column grid system when you need only 4 columns. Make sure that you avoid visual clutter in the designs which you create.

Spacing elements easily Some grids will allow you to work on a horizontal baseline while the other will not. If you are working with a grid system which doesn’t you can create your own horizontal rows so that spacing of elements is easy. At times you must experiment by stepping outside the grid. Mostly in header and footer designs you may have to step out of the grid. If its integral to your design you can consider stepping out of the grid. If you have a pre-designed grid you can consider using it for spacing elements of the web design.

Creating unique designs With the help of a grid you can build a strong structure of your design. With the help of the grid system you can create consistency and familiarity in your web design. Using a grid system does not mean that your designs will have to boring. In responsive web design you will have to create unique designs and grid systems will help you to achieve that. A grid system will enable you to come up with creative and fresh designs which lead to success of the web page. With the help of this series of horizontal and vertical lines you can arranger content in a more readable and manageable way.

Attaining consistency in design
Without the use of grid it may be difficult to achieve the right level of consistency in your design. You will find CSS grid frameworks easily on the web. A grid system can be very useful in the build and development stages of a web site. You can design in right proportions and strike the right balance between the different elements in web design. The grid system you choose should be flexible so that you can easily design different parts of the website. Add a sense of uniformity to the site by making use of the right grid system.

Lee Keating is a successful web designer who feels that grid play an important role in web designing. In few of the best websites which he has designed he has made use of grids to space elements and add uniformity.

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Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Leaves Stealth Behind for All Out Action

The history behind Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is quite a strange one. I’ve played some of the Metal Gear Solid games, and know how good they are but I was never a fan of the stealth gameplay. I’m more a player of action and I’d rather be playing something like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta rather than having to sneak around corners and hide from the search lights all the time. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is different though.

As part of what was thought to be a failed project by Hideo Kojima it was picked up by Platinum Games. Although they aren’t really the type of game company you would expect to stick to the Metal Gear kind of gaming “realism” they’ve created a game that respects the history of the name sake while taking the gamer in a wild ride of action and fighting some of the most impressive bosses you’ll see in a game.

Story
Sitting in a kind of side story to the Metal Gear Solid series you take control of Raiden with one aim, to destroy everything in your path. The story is simple, bad people have done some bad things and it’s your job to destroy them all. During the game you’ll encounter additional points to the storyline, but the main thing to realise is, the story is not the focus in this game it’s the fighting system.

Features
The actual feature of Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is the fighting system. At the start of the game you’ll find it easy just slash the bad guys to pieces with your trust swords. As the game progresses though you’ll need to learn to block, time your counter attack at just the right point so that your unblocking won’t open yourself up to attack and to defeat the enemy by all means possible.

The beauty of the gameplay though is the amour you are fighting against. The initial enemies and cannonfodder that you find thrown at you to ease you into the action hardly have any armour at all and you’ll get past them with ease. The enemies that come in later have more advanced armour that will need you to form a strategic attack against, the main aim is to weaken the armour and be able to get through it to the enemies weaknesses.

These strategies become all the more important when you fight the bosses, who are numerous and very impressive. To fully be able to master your skills you have to be able to master the gameplay. There are two important elements, one of them being Blade Mode. With Blade mode activated you are able to aim slices with your blade to attack the enemy to hit them at their weaknesses, the more precise the strokes the more power your attack will have. Along with Blade Mode and as part of it is Zandatsu (translation is “cut and take”). With successful Zandatsu you are able to grab your enemy’s energy core which in result adds to yours meaning you can carry on. This has to be mastered to fully succeed in the game.

Graphics
What you’ll notice when playing the game is just how good the graphics are, and the style. This is full on robotic warfare, especially the bosses. Even in battle you’ll take the time to notice intricacies of the huge robots you’ll be fighting, especially when this is important when finding their weaknesses.

Verdict
It’s fair to say that Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is not the biggest game and it’s possible to complete it in under ten hours but this is not the end. You’ll want to try harder difficulty settings and you’ll find yourself going back through the game to get the perfect score, because it’s that fun. Saying this, as always Metal Gear Rising Revengeance isn’t for everybody, and it does have its weaknesses it’s fair to say if you are not a fan of games like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta as examples then you’ll probably not enjoy it as much. With its rocky production past there is a feel of two different playing styles, but if anything this gives it a fairly unique feel. If anything it’s yet another game that proves that the first quarter of 2013 is starting off quite strong for gaming titles.

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Massachusetts Introduces a new ‘Tech Tax’

Massachusetts introduced a new ‘tech tax’ or a new sales tax known as software services. The larger transportation bill that was passed and made effective by the state legislature also included this new tech tax. According to this tax, tech firms active in Massachusetts are required to collect sales tax of 6.25% from ‘software design services’, as it is being termed. The sole intention of introducing the new tech tax was to raise and build an annual fund of $160 million.

The definition that the Department of Revenue gives to these services is that they are integration, modification, installation of standardized, installation of configuration, enhancement or prewritten software. Some of the inclusive items are standardized, like the modification of the off-the-shelf program configuration, software, and also website design and development. Professionals and individuals active in the IT industry in the state of Massachusetts were not well informed about this part of the bill and the fact that it even existed was not known to them. Many of these people started to wake up or get to know about the entire fiasco, once the time of tax collection arrived. As a result, tech companies have to include the tax and send the invoice to their clients, charging them with the extra amount.

It is a known fact that Massachusetts has a strong tech industry and it is the origin of top technology companies today. Though the US economy is experiencing a bad situation, it is slowly recovering too. However, the major burden or aftermath of economic chaos is being put on these firms. There is no way to unburden because they have to work hard to succeed in their ventures and also survive in the market. With the introduction of the new tax, the process has slowed down further to a great extent.

Tech firms now are looking for ways to pay or compensate for the 6.25% income drop, which has caused major revenue issue. Already these firms are fighting the tough competition and they now have to increase their service or product rates to 6.25%, which their customers have to pay in order to reduce their corporate expenses. In both ways, the companies have to face the music. Cutting down on expenses and resources will lead to staff elimination, decreases in benefits and wages, creation of a negative impact in the market and more. Companies will have to spend hours and hours to let their clients know about the increase in their fees, leaving many customers baffled too. This will cause only hours wasted and nothing else.

With these reasons and more, tech companies in Massachusetts are expressing their grievances against the tax to their legislators and efforts are being taken to repeal the tech tax.

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Loewe Air Speaker Wireless Speaker with a Touch of Flair

When buying speakers one of the options to consider is if you want to use an AirPlay system. Airplay is a wireless protocol that allows your speaker to be placed anywhere around your room and connect wirelessly to any enabled equipment such as stereo, computer and television. This is what is on offer with the Loewe Air speaker.

One thing about the AirPlay speakers though is there is plenty of choice out there already. With the B&W Zepplin Air, Pioneer X-SMC3 and B&O Play Beolit 12 being just a few on offer there is plenty of choice out there so will the Loewe Air system be able to make its mark on an already busy market?

Build
To describe the speaker system in its basic form the Loewe Air speaker looks just like a box. This is not to say it is ugly though, anything but. The design is minimalistic and with a removable top panel it can be changed to feature different colours based on your taste. This makes it quite a snazzy looking box.

Features
The main feature of an AirPlay speaker system is of course that it features Wi-Fi. This means that you can stream music from any iOS device or computer that has iTunes loaded; the device or computer should be able to pick up the speakers straight away and let you play your music in no time. If you have problems with the Wi-Fi it can be connected through an Ethernet port too as it is said that the actual setting up of AirPlay WiFi can be tricky. Also with a wired system you can always be sure of getting the best quality streaming possible on your network.

Other features include a headphone socket if required, a USB port to connect to your iOS device for wired playback through that device and also battery charging for the device if required, which of course can be useful if you want to quickly recharge your phone without messing with your computer or finding a mains adapter.

Audio Quality
Although the box does not look that big the sound quality is fantastic with its two subwoofers that offer a strong bass. This makes the speaker good for dance and electronic music. If you don’t want to play your music too loud the speaker is also able to handle quieter volumes with ease with no real quality loss.

Verdict
The only real problem with the Loewe Air Speaker is the fiddly nature of setting up its Wi-Fi. When this is done though or you use the speaker wired you should find no problem. Using iTunes or an iOS device you’ll be enjoying your music at high quality in no time. At £650 though this is a pricey option for some but if you can afford the price tag this is obviously a speaker to look for if you lack space for a bigger cheaper system. It’s not the best speaker system out there (this title is said to go to the B&W MM-1s) and it does lack a remote control, but Loewe is providing a quality option with this speaker system.

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Microsoft Surface RT vs iPad 4

Microsoft is finally ready – finally – to take on the big daddy of the tablet PC arena, Apple’s iPad. At least, that’s what it claims. Is there any truth to Microsoft’s assertions? Let’s find out.

Hardware
The Surface’s VaporMg casing feels silky smooth to the touch, and seems to be fairly excellent when it comes to avoiding fingerprints. It’s a solid device, weighing roughly the same as the iPad at 1.5 pounds. The display sits neatly flush with the surrounding bevel, which is angled so as to give the Surface RT a slight wedge shape. The screen is vibrant, pushing 1366×768 pixels under a glossy GorillaGlass 2 protective layer. The screen feels smooth and pleasant, and the ClearType HD technology running the panel itself responds swiftly, with no noticeable ghosting or stuttering.

The iPad’s stainless steel reverse has a powdered texture to it, which feels cool and rich beneath your fingers. Because so much of the device is crafted from one block of material, heat dissipation is uniform. The device feels strangely cool to the touch, as if it has been dropped by some futuristic oddity. The display, which pushes 2048×1536 pixels, is class-leading. Each pixel is so small they cannot be distinguished individually at a reading distance of around a foot, which makes the whole display look like a bizarrely high-saturation glossy magazine. It’s a weird, but pleasing effect. The glass display front feels strong, and the oleophobic covering – designed to minimise fingerprints – makes the whole device front supernaturally smooth. It’s a tactile pleasure to use.

There is no question that both devices have taken radically different routes. Which is ‘best’ is, of course, a matter of opinion – but for us the choice is fairly clear-cut. The iPad is one of the industrial design icons of the 21st century – it’s ridiculously well engineered. Microsoft have produced a beautiful device that outstrips the original iPad – but it’s just not up to the heat, three iterations on.

Software
Windows RT is relatively fresh out of the gate, and that means there isn’t much of an ‘ecosystem’ of apps and utilities to support new users. This is frustrating, as the minimal UI and subtle typography makes for one of the most pleasant Operating Systems we’ve ever used. Ninety-degree angles make a welcome return after years of rounded rectangles, and the ‘flow’ of the operating system gives a sense of immediate connection with the interface environment. It’s a work of art, but hindered by a lack of content (for the time being).

iOS, on the other hand, has been around for ages. Now in its sixth iteration, we haven’t seen any design overhauls since 2007. That’s starting to show – the skeumorphs that made the device so friendly and accessible three years ago now seem jelly-like, overstated and unsubtle. Say what you like about the inclusion of ‘real world’ features in digital interfaces, iOS’ take on the user interface is starting to look fragmented, and tired. The calendar app looks nothing like the alarm app. The notification center has a completely different UI to the home screen. Siri lives in a UI world of its own. There’s no coherence any more, and that makes for an over-egged and, at times, frustrating user experience.

The problem with the Surface RT, though, is that it’s locked down in a similar way to the iPad. In fact, the words ‘jailbroken’ and ‘Windows RT’ appeared quite recently in the same news headlines. If Microsoft were trying to build a walled garden to take on their age-old competitor, they might have succeeded. However, the lack of downloadable content is kind of a deal-breaker.

Another real problem with the Surface RT is how schizoid the entire experience feels whenever you’re forced to slip back in to the regular old Windows 7 desktop environment. Metro is cool, fluid, touch-efficient, beautiful: Windows 7’s touch interface is anything but. It’s clunky, it’s unpleasant, it looks tired and old. It reminds us of Windows 98: everything is right-clicking and window management. Those things should be defunct in the post-PC, touch-driven era.

Conclusion
It’s not difficult to recommend the iPad above the Surface RT, but doing so seems strangely unfulfilling. For one, both of the devices are seriously lacking features that we’re expecting around about now. Both have fragmented and, occasionally, unpleasant User Interfaces. Both feel slightly dated, even though they represent the most advanced consumer technology to date. In reality, it’s easier to recommend an ultrabook over either of these – something like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga – or even to point out other tablet PCs hitting the market right now. Either way, the next iteration of these machines had best be spectacular from both Windows and Apple – or they’re going to start to lose their sheen as premium innovators at the top of their field.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Hands-On

If you’ve been scoping the market lately for a full fledged tablet computer, then the Pro 3 of the Microsoft Surface Series should be right up your alley. According to the latest technology news, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the latest installment of their super tablet line, and quite frankly is pretty impressive considering the extra bucks needed to acquire it.

The Design

With a thinner chassis and slick design, the Surface Pro 3 has managed to pull off a unified device to end all other devices, (for the time being). With a larger 12-inch, 2160×1440 high resolution display, and a aspect ratio of 3:2, the difference in the Surface Pro 3 is immediately noticeable, especially while it’s being used in notebook-style (which is more laptop-like than its previous version. The Surface Pro 3 also feature a cool new kickstand which makes it easier to set up and use, and this version is also optimized for a digital pen, which is a nifty additional.

The Hardware

Considering a thin (9.1mm) chassis, the Surface Pro 3 features some serious hardware. Along with having i-series core options of i3 and i7, the Pro 3 still runs on a 15W Haswell ULT SoC. And if you go for the i5 option, you will get a dual-core/4 thread Haswell part along with a 3MB L3 cache. According to the latest technology news regarding the Surface Pro 3, the top speeds of all variations of its CPU cores are 1.9GHz base frequency and 2.9GHz max turbo, which makes it a pretty impressive machine which is able to perform at low thermals for the serious users. Both 64 and 128 GB of storage come with 4 GB of RAM, while those with 256 or 512 GB storage feature 8 GB of RAM.

Since the keyboard is an important component in all laptop/Tablet devices, the Surface Pro 3 type cover is clearly designed for improved precision for both artists and inkers alike.

Storage
For the techno geeks out there, the 64 GB version has more than 36 Gs’ of available disk space, and the 128, 256, and 512 GB variations come with the 96, 211, and 450 GB, respectively. In terms of storage, the 64 GB Surface Pro can be compared to a 32 GB iPad. That being said, the Surface is way more powerful. The surface features a full-size USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort, along with a MicroSD card slot as well, for up 128 GB of additional storage space.

Battery Life
The pen uses a single AAAA battery and two coin cell batteries, while Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 3 features a battery which allows it to get juiced for the whole day after a single charge.

The Verdict
So, the one question that has been bugging some people is the SATA-based drive and why Microsoft hasn’t switched to PCI-E yet. We think that the reason might be that PCI-E SSDs are a bit longer than the mSATA SSDs.

It seems that Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella has taken the route of Apple Inc., which is that using cutting-edge technology only leads to an increase in prices (and not to mention a reduced profit margin). So, if it’s fast enough already, why push the tempo by adding hardware which will only lead to the device being more expensive than it already is.

Bottom Line
Since the latest, MacBook Pro is around 4.5 pounds, (which is one super heavy tablet) and considering all other Tablets, Android or otherwise cannot be considered as super-computers, which is a serious deal breaker especially for the pros, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 seems like the obvious choice for those who want to enjoy the latency and transfer rate of a high-end Tablet computer with real practical usability.

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Linn Kiko a Premium Sound System with Superior Sound

There are plenty of speaker systems out at the moment that offer good sound plenty of options for connections from Bluetooth to Apple’s AirPlay and all come at a nice enough price. These focus mostly on having variety and the streaming, and arguably save money in the audio department where though the sound can be above average, to get the best you have to pay a little more money.

The Linn Kiko is a sound system that looks more to the high end of the price scale and concentrates on the audio aspect and the looks of the system which some would argue is just as important. When these systems are made to fit into your living room you need it to look good, and the Linn Kiko definitely fits that bill.

Build
The Kiko sound system is a high end model in not only sound but also looks. With its elegant and fashionable look, with curves in all the right places you should find no problem in fitting this into your living room if this is the placing of choice. Colours available are silver, champagne, blue (dark and light), white and black so there is plenty of choices to fit your personal needs. One drawback (or could be a positive based on your needs for the system) is there are very little controls visible at all, no high tech touchscreen here. Just a blue LED display and power switch, it’s a minimalistic look to fit the design. For most of the functionality you’ll need your computer, smartphone or tablet though there are a few controls available for skipping songs etc. on a remote that is provided.

Features

The main aim of the Kiki is to be able to play your music easily and quickly without having to spend too long installing anything. This is done through your network, so it’s easy to connect to things like AirPlay, internet radio services and music apps like Spotify. Software is provided by Linn (Kinsky software) this allows connection through tablets, smartphone and your computer. One of the surprising things though is there is no wireless internet for the Kiko, it will have to be wired up to your router by an Ethernet cable. This is quite against the minimalist design in a way. What this does though is improves sound quality and connection speed as you’ll have no problems that Wi-fi can sometimes have.

Connections
As well as the connection to your router to connect to your network there are also HDMI ports available as well as phono audio and coaxial digital inputs. This means that you can connect the sound system up to your television and Blu-ray player to use the Kiko’s audio system for output. The one problem with the Kiko as hinted above is that there are going to be wires coming out of the system, the speakers for example have quite a thick wire going to each. Part of getting the look of the Kiko right for your home will obviously be finding a place to hide these wires. Once they are hidden of course they won’t cause many problems at all.

Audio Quality
For an expensive audio system like this you’ll be expecting high end sound and that’s what you’ll get with the Linn Kiko. For a system that uses speakers that are quite small the small amplified drives pack plenty of punch and show why the Kiko is such a special system. Ranging from the quiet listening experience to the loud there is still plenty of punch and high quality sound that shows where your money went.

Verdict
The big problem you’ll have with the Linn Kiko is finding the excuse to spend £2,500($4,048) on it, but for a premium audio system it’s definitely worth it. The drawback of having to use the Ethernet connection to connect to your router and the internet is a drawback but once the system is up and running and you hear the sound quality it makes it worth it.

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Make Your Products Known by A Million People Effective Marketing Strategies

Don’t wait at home for your customers to come and buy your products; remember, they are used to choose which to buy through their experiences and what their friends and family members tell them. Here I have some tips about marketing, hope they are helpful to you.

The recommended marketing strategy we are going to talk about is EDM, Email Direct Marketing. The marketing mails we make usually consist of 3 types. The first one is notification type.

Notification Type

Notification type is usually used to notice the customers your new activity, for instance, upgrades or modifies of your website. This kind of mails contains more words than pictures, and its target is often your registered customers. Sometimes, we use notification mails especially when we have no promotional sales for a long time, and to some extend the notification mails express our voices “You haven’t visit our website since last month, why don’t you come and shop around? I promise you won’t regret.” During my tests, I found out that notification mails with portrait are more believable than those without portraits. The portraits can be your CEOs, chairmen or other senior leaders. Make sure the portraits are friendly and professional.

Invitation Type

The second type of marketing mails is invitation. From the name you can easily guess this kind of emails is for attracting and inviting new users to register as your users. As a result, invitation mails have to be designed with great care. It’s the pioneer who drags the customers’ attentions, thus the importance and significance of invitation mails can be ignored in no way. In invitation mails, you exhibit the best and most competitive products and try your best to make your website more reliable because it’s a totally strange one to the receivers. Nowadays, we often add SNS icon at the bottom of a mail, such as twitter, face book or my space. This is convenient but one thing has to be mentioned here is that adding these SNS icons would increase the possibilities of being judged as a junk mail.

Sales Promotion Type

The third type of mails is mostly used during

marketing

. Sales promotion mails are usually designed in order to show the unique products and attractive discounts or prices. When sending sales promotion mails, don’t use words like “free”, “free shipping”, or “low price”, they are not attractive anymore and likely to arouse dislike. Don’t emphasize your prices too much; you know that sometimes low prices give the feelings of low qualities, too. Finally, remember to keep a balance between pictures and words. Too many pictures increase the junk mail risk; meanwhile too many words make readers lose their patient.

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Make your iPhone Camera Even Better With These Devices

An iPhone user can upgrade their camera with a number of devices.
There’s no need to have more than one camera to capture certain images at a high quality. What are some of the best attachments to purchase? It really all depends on the overall goal a person has whether it be capturing portraits or nature shots. Here are a few ideas to help an interested buyer get some ideas. The Bubblescope is a camera that provides a 360 degree pictures and videos. The images can be posted on a social network and are known as “bubbles”. This device is small and easy to store in a pocket or purse. To install it, the camera screwed into the top of the phone to ensure that images can be captured accurately from places like a moving car or even roller coaster.

Glif is a tripod that is specially designed for iPhones.
It allows an individual to take sharp and breathtaking pictures without worrying about small movements. One common problem with phone cameras is that it’s very easy to create movement that in turn makes a picture fuzzy. Another great panorama camera is known as the Kogeto. It’s a gadget that will actually snap onto the back of the phone to capture the anticipated images. When this is paired with the “looker” app, a cell phone user has the ability to view the images on their screen by swiping to different areas of the actual panorama. This is a great way for viewers to actually see the whole area of a certain place where the picture was taken. The Factron Quattro makes professional photographers think twice about purchasing a large DSLR camera. This device includes a wide range of abilities including a wide lens and fish eye. The device is actually a case for the iPhone so it’s attached quite securely. It will take some of the best pictures without even trying. Cameras have advanced tremendously with the growth of the smart phone industry. More individuals have turned to their phones rather than a bulky camera to capture special moments in their lives. It has proved to be a convenience rather than packing around multiple items.

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Campaign Update: Landmines and IEDs

Recently the Global Campaign was asked to write an op-ed column for breakingdefense.com.  During preparation of the column we were asked to clarify the relationship between landmines and IEDs.  This question arose specifically in the context of U.S. House Resolution 190 and our observation that the United Nations issues an annual resolution condemning landmines.

We are publishing this Blog post to give our answer to this question wider distribution and a permanent link for future reference.

Landmines and IEDs are not the same. Unlike landmines, IEDs are not covered under a current international treaty that bans their use. There is also a fundamental difference between the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Global Campaign against IEDS. The efforts of the Global Campaign are directed at those who use IEDs for terror and violence and not toward the actions of any legitimate nation. In email communications with the Global Campaign, the ICBL has indicated that IEDs are beyond the scope of their efforts except those that are victim-activated and banned by treaty.

There is however one point at which the landmine and IED issues converge. That is when landmines are used as components in IEDs. This happens when abandoned mine stocks are left uncontrolled and find their way into the black market.

Now back to U.S. House Resolution 190 … supporting this resolution and condemning IEDs will not change anyone’s position on landmines or infer any type of altered ban on their use.