Author Archives: Steve

Those Giant American Flags That Cover A Football Field?

TeeTwits UltraSeps Big USA Flag

While watching football this past weekend, you probably noticed the gigantic, enormous and most likely hard-to-handle American flags that cover an entire football field before each game. You probably have also wondered what the cost is and just who makes these things?

Turns out that American Flags Express happens to specialize in such monstrous items and loans (rents) their biggest Stars and Stripes to NFL teams for opening weekend and other events. Those flags, by the way are 160 feet by 300 feet long and for the most part, covers the entire playing field with exception of the end zones.  They are so huge that each star is 10 feet across and each stripe is over 12 feet in depth.

Requiring 1,500 pounds of fabric, the oversized flags usually take 30 – 40 days to manufacture. When stretched on the field, about 180 people are needed to hold the flag stationery. The flag costs NFL teams approx $6,500 to rent for a single event and seeing one from the stands is an awe inspiring site.

Oh, I almost forgot, the cost to make one of these beauties? A mere $50,000.

In The Philippines It’s Okay To Steal, But If Caught With Drugs……

Philippines Software Piracy

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is among the elite of the world’s most insidious, hypocrite tyrants.

Prior to meeting with President Obama this week, he referred to the president as a “son of a bitch” if Obama decided to inquire about the 2,000+ killed for alleged drug use and distribution since Duterte took office in June.

Apparently in the Philippines, its okay to steal identities, credit card accounts and especially be a global leader in software piracy.  Although if caught with a miniscule amount of an illegal substance, its off with your head!  Oh yes, and don’t get caught cutting down trees illegally as this seems to be a death sentence as well.

What’s alarming to me however is the Philippines, their law enforcement and their president seem to have no issue whatsoever with massive software piracy and distribution.  I’ve reviewed accurate reports estimating 80% or more of all software used in the Philippines is illegal. And if that’s not bad enough, this activity also includes software installed to government computers!

Obviously, all the major software developers such as Microsoft and Adobe to use as an example are aware of this.  In fact, Microsoft has looked deeply into the illicit activity in the past and more or less extended an olive branch to the country, well, primarily to its government offices although its still unknown if anything has been resolved.  If it involves the government to actually PAY for licenses, I would imagine the status-quo remains intact.

I’ve also been told from a reliable source that an estimated 90% of all Adobe products in use within the Philippines are pirated.   Therefore, it looks as though Adobe’s efforts to thwart piracy with the implementation of Creative Cloud isn’t working as well as anticipated.  At least on that small island nation in Southeast Asia.

In defense of the Philippine people and other Southeast Asian countries however, their economies are weak along with wages being low for the majority.  Although, the big software firms aren’t blind to the economic conditions and usually offer products at a lower cost when compared to the United States or employ other cost saving incentives.  Usually, this does little to help as it’s either not enough, along with the general consensus being that all software should be free so in effect they’re not stealing, at least in their minds.

The real joke here is every so often, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines conducts a raid of suspected high volume users of pirated software.  These “Intellectual Property Raids”, (see oxymoron) usually target schools and colleges which result in a few hundred DVD’s being confiscated.  Basically, the activity is similar to putting lipstick on a pig to create the illusion that intellectual property rights are being enforced.  Believe that and I have a nice bridge in Manhattan to sell you at a discount.

Time To Update This Site And Begin Writing Again!

Most of you know me as Steve, the UltraSeps and QuikSeps guy.  And yes, those software products for the t-shirt screen printing industry are what I’m primarily noted and known for.  Although its not the only thing I do, as I’ve owned many different types of businesses in both servicing and manufacturing and have written a daily, fee-based financial newsletter many years ago which was somewhat successful.

I’ve also worked with an investment bank as an advisor along with trading commodities such as crude oil and natural gas futures along with trading futures contracts on the S&P 500.  As I no longer participate as a professional trader, one of my passions continues to be the equity (stock) market and am highly active with that on a daily basis.  Another of my interests aside from craft beer, good cigars, football and golf is music.  A day doesn’t pass without getting behind the drum kit or picking up a bass guitar.

But that’s enough about me……This blog has been stagnant for years and I have decided to get back into writing if not on a daily basis, at least several times weekly.  I’m not into Facebook and Twitter is far too restrictive although will use the platform at Twitter when new articles are posted.

Everyone won’t agree with everything I say as one can’t please everybody, although I think most will find the opinions and inforation both informative and interesting.

Thanks for listening!

Steve