June 23, 2010
More on webhosting
I've mentioned before here that the issue of website hosting is really rather important to us all. "Us all" meaning anyone trying to run a business in this uncertain modern world that is. It's just not possible to be working without a website for some kind or another: even just a simple site telling people where you and what you do will help. It's a little like having an entry in the telephone book was in earlier decades: a simple necessity.
But what you're actually going to do on your website is something you have to decide before you start to go build it. Are you just going to have that guide to who and where you are? Then the site can indeed be very simple indeed. Or are you going to be trying to actually sell from the site? In which case you're going to need to contract with a host that will offer all of the necessary ecommerce tools.
Or perhaps the business itself will be online? A series of forums for example? In which case it is uptime that is most important: nothing will get people fleeing faster than unreliable service. Maybe it's photography, or video? That means that bandwidth is your key need and you should be measuring your potential hosts by how much of that they offer.
So before you start building the site, decide what it is the site is to do and then choose who would be the best host to support you in those efforts.
US beats Algeria....only just!
Well, wasn't that a boring game of soccer? But the USA just managed to beat Algeria in the end.
They were nil nil, right up to the end of the game....it was only just as injury time was starting that the US managed to score the only goal of the game. No time left for algeria to do anything else....although one of them did manage to get his second yellow card of the match in he couple of minutes remaining and thus get sent off.
What this does mean though, this 1-0 victory, is that the US now progress at the head of the group: meaning they're liklier to have an easier ride in hte next game than England, who are second in hte group.
However, it does rather have to be said: on the evidence of the three games so far neither of these teams is likely to go much further.
Finding the best webhost
We have all, at least I hope we have all, realised by now that to get anywhere in this modern economy we need to have a website, somewhere that people can at the very least find out what it is that we do?
If you're in business, doing absolutely anything at all in business, this is the minimum now required. You don't have to sell a digital product, you don't have to be doing ecommerce, but at the very minimum you do need for people to be able to find you. a little like having an entry in the telephone book in earlier decades.
OK, but then we need to ask the question of where we get our site hosted for us. Fortunately, there's a good guide to webhosting, just click through for it. You can sort through all the various options by what it is that you actually want.
Is price most important to you? Bandwidth? Reliability? Linux hosting, Windows hosting? Whatever it is that is most important to you should be the driver of who you use as your host. And those guys can help you through that decision path.
June 16, 2010
Getting that online tutoring
One of the things that this internet stuff might really change is a shake up of how the whole K-12 education business works. At the moment we're still doing everything in a very 19th century manner: everyone goes to the big education factories every day. Then someone stands up and talks at them: then they all go home again. It surely cannot be beyond the wit of man to design a better system which incorporates all of the new technologies?
There are colleges out there which have all of their lectures online for example: buy the textbook, do the tests and watch the lectures: OK, so you won't get a degree at the end but you will have learned.
And example of the sorts of things I'm talking about is this company that offers Math help. the basic concept is that there an awful lot of very good teachers in India: many more than there are in the US in fact. So why not communicate with them over the net and get that personalised, one on one algebra help which the American schools can't and don't offer? I mean, let's face it, algebra is one of those subjects where you really do need someone holding your hand while you try to unravel it.
They also offer fractions of course: and most other areas of math. You can get a certain amount of help for free and then can sign up to get much more by paying for it.
But back to the major point. Education used to be a very personalised thing, like almost all production was. Then we had mass education, as with mass production. We're now moving back to personalised production of most things: shouldn't we be using these new tools to be doing the same with education?
June 09, 2010
On the subject of underfloor heating
As longtime readers will know we've been renovating two houses down here for the past couple of years. It's all taken so long because we do some work, then go make some more money and then come back and do the next piece of work.
However, we are now cruising on the home straight and just doing the very last part of the second house: estate agents have already been alerted to the idea that the houses will be coming onto the market.
This last step is to put down the tiles and we've got to ask ourselves a final question before we do so: should we put down underfloor heating?
There are arguments against it, certainly. Like we're in southern Portugal and thus don't really need heating of any kind. For the perhaps one month of the year that you want to have heating a decent woodfire is usually enough. On the other hand, electric underfloor heating has become vastly cheaper in recent years, to the point where if you're laying a new floor then the cost is almost an irrelevance.
Further, in that one month when you do want heating it would be nice to have that sort of ambient heating, rather than having to huddle around a fire.
Hmm, perhaps we should go for some sort of compromise? Just put it in the bathroom(s) where it will do the most good? Clearly and obviously we don't have wood fires in them and given that they're the rooms in the house where you're most likely to be naked, they're the ones where you're going to want to be able to take the chill off the air.
It's the mulling over these sorts of questions that has meant I've always enjoyed moving into houses that other people have built to be quite frank.
So, Carly Fiorina won the primary in California. Meg Whitman also won hers.
I have to say that I'm not all that sure bout this. Carly Fiorina was, of course, the woman who ran HP into such trouble.
I'm also not all that sure about having successful business people as politicians. They're successful because they're good managers: which isn't, as far as I can see, what we actually want from politicians.
We want people who are good at seeing what doesn't need to be managed as politicians: or maybe that's just me making a political point?
June 04, 2010
No win no fee accident claims
Now here is something very much worthwhile for those of us in the UK. Finally, someone is using the no win no fee system properly to deal with Compensation claims.
There was a spate of companies, a couple of years back, which if you had an accident or compensation claim, would insist that while, of course, they weren't charging you, oh no, you had to spend £900 or so on an insurance policy to cover the costs. And that isn't the way the system is supposed to work at all.
No, what should happen, and the company under that link above is doing it right, is that first you call them to discuss the claim. Then they decide whether to take it on or not. And if they do, and they win compensation, then you get 100% of the compensation paid. It's the insurance company that has to pay your lawyers.
A much better system and if you've got an accident claim to make one well worth looking into.
Shrek glass recall
The Shrek glass recall is just another little bit of evidence that sourcing all of your goods from China might not be all that good an idea.
The basic story is that McDonald's had a tie in with the new Shrek movie. You could get a drinking glass with a character on it. Yes, I know, whoopee. They ordered 12 million of these glasses.
Unfortunately, the Chinese suppluier managed to use cadmium based paint to produce the glasses. While cadmium based paint has its place (keeping the nuts and bolts on airplanes for example) drinking glasses aren't one of them.
For cadmium is poisonous to humans.
Not that the amount of cadmium in the McDonald's recall would actually cause any harm....nmust too trivial an amount for that. But it is above legal guidelines and so we have this Shrek glass recall.