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Posted by on in Technology

If you are like me and own a Nexus, but are frustrated by the fact that after two to three hours of connectivity your wifi speeds drop considerably ... you are not alone. This is an issue that has been on Google's bug tracker for 4 months, as of writing this article with no official response in sight.

This bug seems to strike randomly during wifi connection, that doesn't seem to be triggered by anything you may be doing on your Nexus at the time. In my particular case, I would be getting near 3Mb/s download with the Nexus sitting next to the wireless router right after a restart. I have noticed that after as soon as 15 minutes of activity, or one to two hours with no activity, the Nexus will begin to experience painful slowndowns. Eventually dropping to speeds as slow as 9kb/s before I have to restart the wifi service and can experience the glory that is broadband again.

Fortunately, there appears to be somewhat of a fix that was identified by a user in reply #104 in the issue tracker above. The user mentions that if you follow the next couple steps it appears to fix the issue, for now. It did for me ... but here's hoping for a real fix from Google sometime in the very near future.

  1. Go into mobile networks in settings, you can find it under "more" in Wireless & Networks
  2. Click into "Access point Names"
  3. Under your APN (or multiples if you have more than one) remove "supl" from the list
  4. Reboot your device

Best of luck ... let's get on this sometime this year, eh Google?

Hits: 3612

I was originally looking to build a real time web application in Python.  I had settled on the following:

  • nginx: serves the static content, such as css, images, javascript, etc.  It would also serve as the reverse proxy for Tornado, which would handle the real time parts of the application
  • Tornado: Handle the real time as a non-blocking Python based server
  • MongoDB: noSQL database solution

Having settled on that setup, I went about researching how to implement the solution.  However, after continuing research and looking on github at solutions similar to mine, one thing became quite clear.  It wasn’t a simple solution … there were a lot of pieces that I would need to understand, quite explicitly, in order to bring this solution to fruition.[1]

I ended up transitioning to the project to a node.js driven solution.  Namely, leveraging the following technologies:

  • nginx: still serves the static content, also a reverse proxy for node.js
  • Node.js: the driver behind the real time updates for the web application
  • MongoDB with Mongoose: noSQL with Mongoose serving to simplify interfacing with MongoDB
  • Express: Server side framework for Node.js[2]
  • Backbone: Client side MVC framework[2]
  • Provides the backwards compatible client to server connection [3]

Having said that, I purchased a FreeBSD 9.0 VPS from Arp Networks and started to setup the environment.  

Being a fresh FreeBSD install, I ran
portsnap fetch update
followed by
portsnap fetch extract update

I then installed fail2ban
cd /usr/ports/security/py-fail2ban
make config-recursive
make install clean

I left the configuration pretty basic,
but edit with your favorite editor and add your ip address to
at (Replace YOUR_IP_ADDRESS with your actual ip address)
ignoreip = YOUR_IP_ADDRESS

Add this to /etc/rc.conf

then run
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/fail2ban start

Once the update was completed, I moved on to nginx at
cd /usr/ports/www/nginx
make config-recursive
make install clean

Select the following:

  • SSL
  • GZip
  • HTTP_Headers_Module (cache)

Of course, we’ll want to add this to our rc.d
echo 'nginx_enable="YES"' >> /etc/rc.conf
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/nginx start

We’ll come back to configuring nginx shortly

I installed PHP 5.4 as well, as the server will host a PHP based, mySQLi driven CMS blog and we will be using phpmyadmin to manage the mySQL instance running on this server
cd /usr/ports/lang/php5
make config-recursive
make install clean

Followed up with some PHP extensions
cd /usr/ports/lang/php5-extensions
make config-recursive
make install clean

I selected:

  • bz2
  • curl
  • fileinfo
  • gd
  • mbstring
  • mcrypt
  • mysqli (preferred mySQL driver)
  • mysql (Legacy Support)
  • openssl
  • pdo_mysql (Legacy Support)
  • session
  • sqllite
  • zip

Once the compile is completed, move the php.ini over and we’re good to go for PHP
cp /usr/local/etc/php.ini-production /usr/local/etc/php.ini

Let’s get mySQL 5.6 installed, first the server
cd /usr/ports/databases/mysql56-server

cd /usr/ports/databases/phpmyadmin
make configure
make install clean
chown -R www:www /usr/local/www/phpMyAdmin

Change to the PHPMyAdmin folder
point the browser to http://yourserver/phpMyAdmin/setup/
Ensure configuration is good to go
cp config/
rm -rf config
rm -rf setup

cd /usr/ports/www/node
make configure
make install clean

More to come …


Hits: 6747

Posted by on in SEO & Marketing


When preparing to launch a new website, the first step is typically white boarding some ideas on the layout. While there a lot of blogs and articles out there with lists that are 40-50 items long and dozens of pages I wanted to focus on a couple of the bigger items. I feel that the most important design aspects to consider is visual appeal, ease of navigation, consistent images (header, footer, content) and compatibility.

Many websites throw lavish images or distracting photos onto their websites that do not really contribute anything to the most important aspect of the site, the content! Just take a look at this website, it has a ton of images that drown out the content without providing much, if anything, in value.

Sixties Press
Sixties Press Image choked website


Most designers are familiar with the big players in the internet browsing market. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari are the major players, but there are dozens and dozens of browsers out there on the market and used by someone. Considering different versions of the same browser parse and display CSS, divs and spans differently website interoperability quickly becomes a nightmare.

The basic fact of design is that this problem is not going away anytime soon. The only way to prevent yourself from wasting dozens of hours in troubleshooting is to keep the divs and spans simple, clean and easy to interpret for yourself. If you cannot figure out which div goes where and where each div ends, you are probably not going to have a uniform looking site across the plethora of browsers out there.


Limit Colors and Use Contrast

Too many colors can distract while using font colors that are too light or too dark with respect to their backgrounds are likely to cost your customers and/or sales. The simple fact is that unless you understand and use contrast correctly, your potential customers to throw their hands up in frustration and move on to a competitor's site. For example, here is a website that violates both tenets of web design best practices in one fell swoop.

Poor contrast turns users off

The problem has actually become so pervasive that a website dedicated to contrast rebellion has cropped up and is doing quite well. Use of contrast and colors is a fairly complex subject. So it is perfectly understandable if you do not want to take the time to read a book on the subject. Luckily, there are some fantastic websites out there, to lend you a helping hand, such as .


Other Web Design best practices to consider

  1. Use common fonts like Arial and Times New Roman, avoid 'artsy' fonts
  2. Quality Control – do not leave Javascript or PHP errors on your site
  3. Utilize 'breadcrumbs' to help your users navigate through your site
  4. Use captions

So there you have it, a fairly short, but succinct list on improving your web design skills. Happy coding!

Hits: 3395

Posted by on in Technology

4. Seasickness Gun

While the Department of Homeland Security spent $1 million dollars developing a sea sickness gun, you can have replicate all the uncomfortable side-effects of a cruise without the stuffing yourself into a sub-deck cabin. Yes, it is true, you can build your own Bedazzler and make your friends and family nauseous for a mere $250. If this sounds like a good way to spend your Friday, there is a website out there that provides you the schematics and specifications to build your own seasickness weapon which can double as a disco ball in a pinch. How cool is that?


3. A Speech Silencing Weapon

Leave it to country that made us all fat with High Fructose Corn Syrup to invent a weapon that can actually stop you mid-sentence. While I can think of all kinds of uses for this weapon would serve the greater good, like having it as a permanent fixture on the set of Jersey Shore, the potential abuses of this nifty device in places where the right to free speech is non-existent places this invention soundly into the kinda cool, but very concerning category.

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2. A Machine Exoskeleton

If the idea of stomping around in a giant machine of destruction has captured your imagination, then you will certainly be excited by the progress in machine exoskeletons over the last few years. The great thing about these exoskeletons, is that they not only present a serious challenge on the battlefield, but they also provide the opportunity for physically disabled individuals to lead a more normal lifestyle. For example, Berkely Bionics has created an exoskeleton that allows paralyzed people to actually walk on their own.

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For the rest of us tech junkies, Raytheon has developed and displayed a more … weaponized … version of an exoskeleton. Raytheon's XOS 1 Exoskeleton was just the beginning, because in late 2010 they revealed another suit, the XOS 2, which is a bit more reminiscent of Tony Stark's Iron man suit. Wearing this suit, the average Joe can lift 200 hundred pounds indefinitely while also possessing the capability to kick a soccer ball without annihilating turning it into a piece of leather scrap.

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1. Force fields

Rocket Propelled Grenades and high caliber rounds continue to be a cheap and deadly countermeasure to expensive armored vehicles. As a result, several government research agencies have begun researching and limited testing of the new technology. While much of the actual technology behind the force field is Top Secret, the fact that something like this actually exists should definitely tickle your geek bone.

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Tagged in: technologoy
Hits: 3039

Posted by on in Conservation

Everyone knows about simple ways to save energy and ultimately money, like turning down your thermostat a few degrees, take shorter showers and walking, biking or taking the bus to work/school. We hear it every year around Earth day … what I offer to you are a few less, obvious, ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save a few extra dollars every month. Which means … More Starbucks!


4. Install a low flow shower head

While I know this particular tip may fall into one of those 'duh' categories … I wanted to touch on this because these can really save you quite a bit of green, oh and help the environment as well. Low Flow Shower Heads can have a fairly substantial impact on your water bill, considering that an estimated 33% of your water usage comes from showering and bathing. Basically, one of these low flow shower heads can reduce your water usage by an impressive 30%, which combined with shorter showers can put some of that utility bill money back into your money-starved wallets.


3. Invest in Smart Power Strips

Get a Smart Power Strip . These nifty little devices may cost a little bit more than your generic Power Strip but it will reduce your energy bill by eliminating 'vampire' power.

What is vampire energy drain you might ask? It is a quickly becoming a growing problem in an increasingly gadget driven society. Basically, all of those fancy new iPads, iPods, microwaves, Blu-Ray players, etc, etc are drawing power … even when they are off! Vampire power drain is not a small problem, this phenomenom can account for nearly 10% of your monthly electric bill. In fact, it is estimated that Americans alone spend nearly $2 billion dollars annually on powering devices that are 'off', or the equivalent to 37 Power plants worth of energy.


2. Use Aerators on your Faucets

While there are many options for flow flow faucets out there, they are expensive and, frankly, who has time to replace bathroom fixtures. Not to mention, we love to have our outer layer of skin blasted off by water. Why spend extra when there are cheaper alternatives, Aerators! Many of the aerators out there can reduce the water flow from your faucet to an awe-inspiring half a gallon per minute, all while maintaining your wonderful water pressure, thanks to completely free air.


1. Drive the Speed Limit and Fill your Tires

I know, I know … sacrilege right? We are all guilty of putting a little extra pedal to the metal when it comes to those long (or even short) road trips. Facing the inevitable environment of perpetually rising gas costs, we all look for that gas station that will save us 3 to 5 cents. Well if you speed, turns out that you erase those meager savings … 10 fold.

Consider this, for every 5mph you go over 60mph, the amount of extra fuel burned is about 24 cents per gallon, so driving at 70 mph costs you can extra 48 cents and for you big speeders out there, cruising along at 80mph increases your gas expenditures by a staggering 72 cents per gallon. Combined with other aggressive driving tendencies, such as fast acceleration and hard braking can increase your gas expenditures by 33%.

On a final note, I heartily recommend that you take 5 minutes at your next gas refill and inflate your tires! Many Americans neglect to regularly inflate their tires and cruising around on underinflated tires can increase your gas expenditures by 3%. While this may seem slight, estimates put the daily gas waste to under-inflated tires at 5 million gallons of fuel per day, or $20 million dollars blown on laziness.

Hits: 2789

Posted by on in Technology

7. Close the refrigerator door!

Everyone has fond memories of mom yelling at them to close the refrigerator door, you are wasting tons energy. Not so fast, mom! Turns out that the majority of energy loss related to that trusty refrigerator is due to heat conducted through the actual refrigerator walls and insulation. In fact, the process of heat absorption accounts for a staggering 60% to 70% of a refrigerator’s energy loss. Wait ... so opening the door still has an impact on wasting energy right?

Well, turns out that all of that beer and week old pizza is where most of the energy spent on cooling is stored. The energy spent by your refrigerator to cool the items is actually stored in the items contained in your fridge and not floating around in the air. Therefore, opening the door does not attribute too much towards energy loss at all. So take heart, staring at the contents (or lack thereof) in your fridge for several mind numbing minutes is equivalent to leaving a 60-watt bulb on for about 10 minutes.


6. We need more insulation captain!

Stuffing more insulation into your walls will reduce the amount of energy lost right? Well not exactly … insulation itself is not the answer to increased energy savings. What really gives insulation the oomph it needs to reduce energy lost through your home's walls is some kind of material to break up the air flow. Because 'air breaks' are needed to disrupt airflow, a good insulation installation will include periodic breaks that use materials such as caulk or closed-cell foam.

Without these insulation breaks, the air will pass through the insulation with little to no blockage ... similar to what happens when your car draws air through the filter. There is a reason that insulation material, such as fiberglass, is used in air filters. Fiberglass by itself does little to hinder airflow but does an outstanding job of removing small airborne particles. Meaning that without the additional air breaks, the insulation will give you cleaner air, yes, but do little for reducing your energy consumption.


5. Closing off vents in unoccupied rooms reduce energy usage

Rising gas prices are putting a cramp on your lavish night life so you sit down one Friday evening contemplating easy options to reduce your energy use to keep some more Benji’s in your pocket. Then Eureka! You decide to close off the vents in the some of your bachelor (or bachelorette) pad’s unused rooms. ChaChing! You can feel those dollars returning to your pocket already … except you would probably be better off throwing money into your decorative fire place.

What? Well those environmentally conscious scientists from the grand ol’ state of California decided to measure the actual savings, since you know … it was common knowledge that this would save energy. Turns out, closing up those vents led to increased energy use because those ducts that feed that warming goodness throughout your house, leaked an increased amount of heat because of the increased air pressure. Damn … back to square one.


4. Electric Room Heaters are preferable to heating the whole house

You move onto plan B, turn off your central air and use electric room heaters instead! It only makes sense right, instead of using your fossil-burning, ozone melting oil heater or keeping your toes nice and toasty with that sub-floor heating, you just plug in one of those ceramic room heaters and bask in the glow of your environmental friendliness. Careful not to bask too much though or the smug will threaten to obliterate your town. Except you would be wrong.

The ceramic heaters are major energy vampires, not the sparkly kind of friendly vampires that spawn stone babies and grotesque birthing scenes that push the bounds of PG-13, but the old school Nosferatu, drain you bone dry and tap dance on your impaled corpse vampire. If you have a 1500W space heater cranked all the way up, because who likes to be cold, it consumes approximately 36kWh a day. Here in the good old United States of America the average cost for a kWh is $0.128, meaning that toasty goodness would cost you about $140 per month to use.

Considering the average cost to heat an entire home for the whole year with natural gas was $724 for natural gas users and $957 for electricity users, that one room you just spent heating up amounted to about 20% of the year's cost for natural gas and 15% of the average budget for electricity users. Although, if you are one of those unlucky saps with oil and your heating bill this year is approaching the $2,400 mark, you might want to move your inflatable mattress (and doll) into the smallest room in the house and crank that space heater up, maybe then you'll have enough to spend an extra hand or two at the local casino's black jack table.


3. Setting your thermostat high will heat your house faster

You decided to head out on vacation and turned your thermostat way down and unplugged all your appliances while you were gone, because you are an environmentally friendly damnit, jet exhaust be damned. After returning from your vacation in the tropics, you walk into your house and it's so cold your breath is crystallizing on your vacation beard. You head over to the thermostat and crank that baby up to 90 degrees, because that will heat your house up faster and save your money in the long term right?

Nope … When your central air turns on, it is already cranking out the maximum amount of heat that it is capable of producing (exceptions being a multi-stage unit). Cranking that baby up to 90 will not cause your house to heat up faster and could, in fact, end up wasting energy because you certainly forgot to turn it back down until your house begins to feel like that tropical paradise you left hours before.


2. Washing your dishes by hand saves electricity

Being environmentally friendly, you scoff at the idea of using your dish washer, even though that dish water ruins your manicure, it does leave your hands nice and soft with all these new fangled lotions. Well, that's not entirely true, you can actually save money, the environment and your precious manicure all at the same time! Well, not exactly.

Dishwashers use about 6 gallons of water per cycle, or if you were extract environmentally savvy you bought one of those Energy-Star rated washers, which use a mere 4 gallons of water per cycle. As far as energy use, that is actually pretty small as well. An average dish washer uses anywhere from 1.6 kWh of energy down to a .87 kWh of energy. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here, first let's take a look at water use comparisons.

The average tap provides about 2 gallons of watery goodness every minute. So if you are super human and can wash a dish washer full of dishes, that's about 54 different pieces, in less than 2-3 minutes, or about 4.4 seconds per dish, well my hats off to you. For the rest of us mere mortals, the dishwasher beats us hands down in water consumption. As far as energy usage goes, remember that .87kWH consumption?

Well, when it comes to washing dishes, it's estimated that 2 gallons of water takes about .28 kWh of electricity, meaning that in order to be more energy efficient than your modern appliance, you would have to wash all of the dishes in about 3 minutes to beat your dishwasher's electronic efficiency.


1. Replacing your windows will save you hundreds

Replacing your windows is all the rage these days, the United States government even offered some fat tax incentives to replace your old windows that were supposedly burning through your hard earned dollars with like a Kardashian on a shopping spree. The truth is a little less clear cut than those radio ads would have you believe.

Essentially, the savings are directly related to the size and number of windows in your house. Even their orientation, overhangs and the location of your house (geographically speaking) conspires to reduce the savings you might enjoy with those windows to pennies on the dollar of what you spent to replace them. Consider this, national geographic conducted a study and concluded that replacing your windows could save you up to ...drum roll please … $27 a year.

With an average cost of $300 to $700 to replace each window you will not see a return on your investment for 11 to 25 years for ONE window. Keep in mind, that glass itself is airtight; air leaks around windows are typically associated with the moving parts and seals. So if saving money and improving your energy savings is your goal in window replacement, buying a couple tubes of caulk and spending a weekend resealing your windows would make more sense.


Hits: 3153

Posted by on in SEO & Marketing

The Internet is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses who have the expertise to create an online presence and drive customers to their site. The potential for growth is enormous; in the United States alone, online sales are predicted to reach nearly $250 Billion dollars annually by 2014, up from $155 Billion in 2009. [1]As a small business owner, you may be asking yourself, .How can I compete with the corporate giants?. or .How can I take advantage of this amazing growth?. The answer to these questions lie in developing your business. online presence through intelligent online marketing and launching your own e-commerce site.

The first step to launching /expanding your online presence is ensuring your business. online presence is clean, professional and relevant. The importance of a professional, easy to use webpage is paramount in today.s business environment and cannot be overlooked. For example, take a moment to point your browser to online retailers, such as, or even a The one thing these websites have in common is the professional, easy to browse and highly usable online storefront. Potential customers are greeted with a clean and professional online storefront where they have the ability to browse the retailer.s inventory, view recommendations and purchase items from the comfort of their own home.

Now, attempt to find websites for the small and medium sized businesses in your area. If you can even locate their website the majority of your local competitors websites are amateurish, sloppy or even broken entirely. In fact, a Citibank study found that 37% of small businesses do not have a website, 84% are missing out on the billion dollar e-commerce opportunity by not offering their in-store products online, 62% are not using email to reach their customers and a staggering 81% of small businesses do not use social media to market their website.

In an environment where 84% of all users have shopped online, why do these long standing businesses allow their online presence to languish? Lack of expertise and time are the main culprits, unlike large corporations with seemingly limitless IT budgets, small businesses cannot hire dozens of individuals whose sole purpose is to market their brand online. As a result, the small business owners who make up 99.7% of all firms in the United States, create more than half of the United States. Gross Domestic Product while generating the majority of new jobs in today.s economy are missing out on an enormous potential to grow online.[4]

However, not all is lost! Here are a list of steps that you can take to begin to expand your online presence and claim your piece of the $250 Billion dollar pie:

  1. Increase your online marketing budget. According to an article on most small businesses spend less than 10% of their marketing budget online while 63% of those small business owners search online first for their business needs. [3]
  2. Develop or outsource your online presence. While the cost of developing a website seems outrageously high, for most small businesses you can find a business to develop a professional online presence for less than $200
  3. Register your business on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Mapquest and other mapping tools. Registration is free!
  4. Register your business at websites where potential customers may congregate online
  5. Sign up for local search providers (i.e.,, craigslist, etc)
  6. Actively search for your business at search engine and industry review websites. Poor reviews can cripple a business
Tagged in: Internet Marketing SEO
Hits: 2994

Posted by on in SEO & Marketing

What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)? ORM is the process of monitoring the online reputation of an individual or businesses and suppressing negative information about your business. In today.s economic environment, it is important, especially for small businesses, that you constantly research, monitor your businesses online profile and address any and all issues/disputes as soon as an issue arises.

Take a moment and perform a search for your business name and location in Google or Bing. If your business has been around long, chances are your business name showed up, along with several websites aligned to your businesses industry with comments and ratings previous customers have left about your business. If you are in the restaurant industry a poor rating can directly translate into lost income, considering 89% of individuals aged 25-45 say they have researched a restaurant prior to the arrival. [1] When it comes to purchasing goods and services, nearly 100% of individuals research online before they purchase an item locally. [2]

So, what does your online reputation say about you today? Business owners no longer have the option of ignoring the internet. So how can you begin to manage your online reputation?

Begin searching on a regular basis for your business name and location on Google, Bing, Yahoo and websites aligned with your businesses industry. After your initial research, you can use technology to automate this for you through a Google Alert ( Google Alerts will notify you of any new content or updates for search terms you specify, allowing you to passively monitor the internet for new reviews, comments or articles mentioning your business.

Resolve & Address Issues
Evaluate your customer comments and asses how you make changes to address the customer.s concerns. Respond to your critics, this will let your customers know you are listening to what they have to say and are working to improve your services. Respond to reviews about your business, positive and negative, it will help your customers feel involved and perhaps even improve their perception and/or loyalty to your business. If you discover a particularly venomous or unfounded negative review, contact the offending website owner and request the comment be removed. While not all websites will grant your request to remove the comment, the worst they can say is no.

There you have it, some basic steps to managing your ORM. There are many other techniques and ways to manage your business. ORM offered by a plethora of companies. As a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Crimson Cardinal Commerce offers completely moral and legal ORM, among many other services, for a reasonable rate. If you do intend to hire a firm to manage your ORM, ensure the company only engages in legitimate, legal and moral ORM. Immoral ORM companies using techniques like astroturfing (creating fake reviews) can and will destroy your business. reputation in addition to impacting your bottom line. Specifically, .fake reader reviews would violate section 255.5 of the FTC guidelines on the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising." [3]

Tagged in: Internet Marketing SEO
Hits: 2792

Posted by on in Technology

Web Security and server vulnerabilities have been a hot topic, especially as of late. The vast majority of the exposure has been driven by the widespread news coverage of large corporations that have fallen victim to high profile attacks from malicious users. Surprisingly, a large portion of these attacks are exploiting common, yet dangerous vulnerabilities, that have resulted in the exposure of your personal emails, passwords and worse. While web security is a complicated field that cannot be tackled in a simple article, you can use some of the information contained in this article to prevent being the victim of the simple, yet common, attacks being carried out on websites across the world every day.

1. Prevent Cross Site Scripting

First off, if you are not sure what Cross Site Scripting (XSS) is, check out the Wikipedia Article. However, if you are already a web developer and haven't protected yourself from XSS and have not been a victim of an attack, congratulations on being lucky (or obscure).

Let's assume you have an amazing awesome blog, about the latest amazing gadget from Macrosoftix, or maybe it's about alligators or purple spiders, it's really irrelevant. You allow users and guests to post comments, replies, links or some other user submitted content to your site. It is your responsibility to ensure that if you are not using a proven framework (Codeigniter, Yii, CakePHP, etc) or an established Content Management System (Joomla, Wordpress, etc) that you protect yourself from XSS.

There are several resources and cheat sheets out there written by individuals who are far more knowledgeable than I, so I would recommend you check out those links to get a basic understanding of the threat. Then I would recommend using htmlspecialchars, at the very least, but also consider using of the XSS prevention libraries available, such as HTML Purifier or a framework with context aware escaping such as Nette Latte

2. SQL Injection Attacks

I am going to assume you are a highly motivated individual and fixed any XSS vulnerabilities on your site already. However, unless you were extremely careful, you may have some vulnerabilities when it comes to accessing, posting or updating tables in your database. Let's assume you wrote a fairly typical login query for your site, SELECT * FROM login_table WHERE uid = '$uid' AND pwd = '$pwd'. Now let's also assume you did not use any sql escape functions, like PHP's mysql_real_escape_string(). If an attacker were to put 'a' OR 1=1 –' in your username field your query would become SELECT * FROM login_table where uid = '$uid' OR 1=1.

How you ask? Well, it's quite simple. Because you did not protect your form post processing with any sort of injection protection functions the attacker merely used a fairly simplistic approach. The --' is how mySQL interprets comments, so everything after that line was effectively erased. Additionally, 1 is always equal to 1, meaning the attacker just gained access to the login required portion of your site without actually having to own a login. Assuming that you did not protect every part of your site from the simple injection query, the attacker, given enough time, would be able to determine the structure of your database and either a) wreak havoc or b) compromise all of your customer information.

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent this fairly simple, yet common, SQL injection attack. If you are using PHP, mysql_real_escape_string provides a layer of protection. Additionally, you can use the striptags function, allow only alphanumeric characters with preg_replace and enforce a maximum length, on the server script, for certain fields. If you are not using PHP or a mySQL database, then plan to utilize your language of choice's protection, but the good thing is that all of the web languages offer a multitude of ways to protect your site from a SQL injection attack.

3. Improper Error Management

There are a multitude of sites out there that still have error reporting on in their PHP configuration files. While error reporting on a development site is critical to troubleshooting what went wrong on your site, it is imperitive that you turn off this error reporting on your production site. The reason being, if a malicious user is able to break your classes or functions, they can gain insight into the structure and functionality of your code. Armed with this knowledge, the attackers can cause your page to perform actions that they were not meant to perform. This problem is especially dangerous when you are using AJAX to perform some actions. Just take a look at what a motivated user was able to accomplish with time and knowledge of how AJAX and HTML work together.

The quick win solution to the error reporting vulnerability is to modify your php.ini file to turn off Error Reporting on your site. As far as protection on the AJAX side, it is a little more difficult but you can reference some of the tips I suggested in item #2 to protect yourself from some of the more basic vulnerabilities.

Hits: 3187

Posted by on in Technology

The jQuery library is one of the fastest growing tools out there for enhancing the look and feel of your website. With over 55% of the top 10,000 websites leveraging its functionality in some form or fashion. Whether you are just starting out implementing jQuery in your current website or a long time jQuery vet, these 13 easy to use and install tools provide you with some amazing functionality.

The first set of plugins we are going to look at plugins that help improve the functionality of those old timey tables. While divs are still better for displaying content dynamically across variable screen resolutions, tables are still a favorite for displaying large volume of data in an easy to read (and format) way. Additionally, by using some of these plugins, your tables no longer have to be boring and static, these plugins breath life back into tables and have essentially brought them back to life on many websites.

13. DataTables

DataTables is a plugin for jQuery that is highly flexible and provides aventues for advanced interaction with static data on your pages, in addition to providing the ability to dynamically modify information contained in your databases. Whether you plan to use DataTables for internal tracking and tasking operations, as I have, or displaying static information in a dynamic way, Datables provides an amazing array of functionality straight out of the box.

DataTables also enjoys a thriving developer community who provides free and premium plugins for use with the library. These plugins allow for advanced functions, such as reodering columns, adding toolbars, in-line database editing and much, much more. The documentation is superb and if you have any customized questions the developer has options for paid, as well as free forum support and troubleshooting.

12. Advanced Tables

With this jQuery plugin you can convert your flat html tables in nice datagrids in just a few seconds. The Advaned Tables plugin will automatically paginate your table and accepts customized options for each input field to use in your search fields for the table. It provides live table searching, paginated tables, column sorts, customizable row display options and the ability to load data straight from a CSV file, all straight out of the box.

Granted, this particular plugin does require a one time $5 licensing fee and $25 for an extended license.

11. SliderNav

SlliderNav is a plugin that lets you add dynamic, slidable content to your website using a vertical navigation bar. Made primarily for sorting lists in an alphabetical manner, it really can be used for just about anything. On initialization, the plugin automatically adds the navigation and sets the height for the object based on how tall the height of the navigation container or the content itself.

10. Uniform

Does your job require you to constantly build and format annoying forms? I don't know about you but when a tasker for a form come across my list I cringe, knowing that formatting the thing is quite possibly the most tedious and frustrating experience known to man (or woman). Never fear! Uniform provides an API that allows you to use their with custom themed controls and put those pesky form elements and labels where they belong.

9. HoverAlls v1.3

HoverAlls is a unique jQuery animation plugin that allows you to create animation effects quickly – without any knowledge of Javascript or jQuery. With over 40 settings, HoverAlls can create unique animations for nearly any type of effect desired

You can create captions, tooltips, scrollers, crawlers, sliding panels and more. This plugin is fully scalable and extendable as well as supporting all major browsers. This is a premium plugin with a nominal fee of $6 for a standard license and $30 for an extended license.

8. StickyToolTip

StickyTooltip is a really simple tooltip solution that provides fancy animations while remaining lightweight (only 3kb for the minified version). The tooltips appear following a customizable sine curve and disappear the same way. A button lets you attach the tooltip to an anchor point, in order to keep it visible while browsing the rest of the page. This plugin is a premium plugin, costing $5 for a regular license and $25 for an extended license.

7. TN3 jQuery Image Gallery

Pull images directly from Flickr, your Facebook public images or Picasa Web and display them organized in albums and galleries. The jQuery version can also display videos that are included in a Flickr or Picasa feed. Crop and center images on the fly to ensure a consistent presentation, regardless of the image source. Images can be scaled automatically and set to a maximum scale to ensure that there’s no loss of quality. Simply drag and drop individual or bulk images to upload them, without the need for FTP.

6. jQuery Zoom

JQZoom is a javascript image magnifier built at the top of the popular jQueryjavascript framework. Works in all modern browsers.

5. jQuery Virtual Tour

A niche little tool for a real estate listing, vacation property or just about anything really.

4. jQuery Notes

Looking to add a tag like function to your images (think Facebook tags) then this plugin will work for you. This plugin allows you to add notes to any image on your website. It is completely scalable and doesn't require any heavy backend tools, like a database, to work.

3. jQuery Transit

Super-smooth CSS3 transformations and transitions for jQuery. Rotate, perspective, skew, scale and more. A powerful, comprehensive tool wrapped into one small package

2.Motion Captcha

Tired of those impossibly annoying re-Captcha words? MotionCAPTCHA is a jQuery CAPTCHA plugin, based on the HTML5 Canvas Harmony procedural drawing tool by Mr Doob and the $1 Unistroke Gesture Regonizer algorithm (and the more recent Protractor algorithm improvement), requiring users to sketch the shape they see in the canvas in order to submit a form.

1. jQuery Shadow Plugin

Want to add a little depth to your website? jQuery Shadow plugin easily a multitude of shadow options to your objects on your website. The great thing about this plugin is that each shadow takes very little code to implement

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Posted by on in Technology
11 Top-Notch WordPress Themes

Looking to spruce up your WordPress Site with some SEO friendly Word-Press Themes? Great! Here are 10 WordPress Premium Themes that will add a professional look and feel to your blog, personal or professional WordPress drive website.

Based on the Genesis Framework, these WordPress themes provide state of the art code and smart design architecture that mean search engines clearly see your content. Additionally, the Genesis turn-key designs give you an array of beautiful frames for your content. The design settings give you unprecedented control of the framework. These themes are used and trusted by more than 80,000 websites!

11. Glitter and Lace Theme

Glitter is a lovely theme to showcase your life through blogging and social media. Feminine and delicate with a vintage flair, the Glitter theme was created for bloggers who want something a little different. Glitter and lace detailing provides a unique look, and offers a beautiful home for your words, photos, and even instagrams.

10. Quattro Theme

The vintage look and modern design of the mobile responsive Quattro theme sets an instantly classic tone for all of your content online. With an uncluttered, craftsman-like appeal, and antiqued texture, build your digital future on a rock-solid foundation with easy navigation, customizable social media widgets and built in SEO.

9. Optimal Theme

The vintage look and modern design of the mobile responsive Quattro theme sets an instantly classic tone for all of your content online. With an uncluttered, craftsman-like appeal, and antiqued texture, build your digital future on a rock-solid foundation with easy navigation, customizable social media widgets and built in SEO.

8. Production Theme

With an emphasis on video, the professional portfolio styling and clean lines of the Production theme let you premiere all of your best visual media ... effortlessly. Easy to navigate layouts, intelligent design and an array of point-and-click color options make Production a cut above. Your audience will see the difference.

7. Balance Theme

The evenly weighted, minimalist design of the Balance theme gives you the best of form and function, with a responsive frame that's built for any kind of communication. Balance automatically adjusts to fit any mobile device and provides intelligent layouts that emphasize email opt-ins to help grow your business or brand. Turns out your website can have it all.

6. Pure Elegance Theme

Want to capture those very precious moments in time without losing the meaning of them? The gorgeous layout and color palettes of the Pure Elegance theme will keep those pristine memories and showcase them for the world to see.

5. AnglePane - The Comic Style WordPress Theme

AnglePane is an premium comic style WordPress theme ideally suited to those with an interest in comics, graphic novels, and those looking to manage their own entertainment website. The theme itself is designed to resemble the angled layout of a comic book while retaining vivid colors and a balanced uniformity that combine to allow the design to suit multiple entertainment applications. It presents a unique style that aims to strike the visitor with visual appeal immediately upon load, thereby capturing their interest and inspiring them to become more interactive with the site in general.

4. LocalStarta - The WordPress Theme for Local Business

LocalStarta is a highly effective and versatile local business WordPress theme, optimized to create real world results for small and local businesses.

For any small business, running a website is all about one very specific purpose:

Generating leads that can be turned into new customers and additional revenue.

And for 99% of small business owners this means that for a website to be truly effective it has to drive two simple actions:

A) Phone calls from interested prospective customers.
B) Emails from interested prospective customers.

LocalStarta, leveraging off many years of results from working with real world small businesses, is designed to do just that.

3. ThemeStarta Framework - Revolutionary WordPress Theme Framework

There are many ways to design a WordPress theme, but the easiest by far is to begin with a starter theme as your base.

You can use any WordPress theme as a base, but the best base starter theme to use is one that is specifically designed to act as a base framework.

Introducing the ThemeStarta Framework (TSF)

ThemeStarta Framework is a base WordPress theme framework that has been designed with customization performance at its core.

It's perfect for professional web designers who take their WordPress theme design seriously and, because it is fully compatible with the ThemeStarta WordPress theme creator plugin and its WYSIWYG theme editor, it is also a perfect base starter theme for casual theme designers too.

2. Midnight Theme

Be bold and give your content and message center stage with the sophistication and dark, stylish look of Midnight theme.

The Midnight theme gives everything you publish a vivid emphasis with its sharp contrast and compelling design, all with smart magazine-style features on a rock-solid framework.

1. Manhattan Theme

You’re going to make a big statement with the dramatic framing and high-styled portfolio of the Manhattan child theme.

Manhattan helps you capture client and customer attention with its simple design and smart layouts that shine a light directly on your talents and services.

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Posted by on in Technology
VPS Hosting Image

There are several reasons to start shopping around for a Virtual Private Server Hosting Company. Your business might have grown to the point where you need the additional functionality and flexibility afforded by owning your own VPS or you just want to break into the Systems Administration field. Whatever your reasons for shopping for a Virtual Provider, there are some things you should try to keep in mind as you make your decision.

1. Try to choose a datacenter that is geographically close to you and your customers. Even though speed and response time may not be a factor in your initial rollout, too many small businesses have been victims of underpowered or slow servers as their popularity and online presence grows.

2. Research your host response times. Regardless of whether you choose a small mom and pop establishment or a relatively large one, such as Whether you choose self sufficient or managed solutions, a slow response time in a time of crisis could cost you sales and traffic. It could even result in a decreased page ranking if a search engine crawler happens across your site during downtime.

3. This one may seem like a no-brainer, so I'll keep it short ... but there are a lot of hosts out there, make sure the one you choose offers the payment options that work for your business.

4. Look at the hosts options, do they provide the platform you need? Are their plans flexible or do they try to put everyone into a 'set' plan because it is convienent for them? If you cannot determine if they are able to work with you and support your needs as a consumer through their website, move on to the next host. Many of the VPS Hosts out there, such as Jaguar Technologies LLC, even provide you with a list of criteria that can assist you with choosing the right host for you.

Basically, keep an open mind and don't just choose the first company you come across. Migrating information between web servers is a giant headache - so you want to get your choice right the first time. Additionally, you don't want to waste all of that SEO work you've already accomplished by throwing away hours upon hours of work by having to switch hosts!

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Posted by on in Technology

Internet marketing is all about selling or promoting something via website to the target audience. However, there is certain criterion that needs to be met to actually show up on search results out there on the internet, meaning that typically you you have to utilize a plethora of tricks and techniques to rank.

The term internet marketing generally means web marketing, e-marketing and online marketing. In this business, the marketer sells the products or services over the internet and flips profits. The business is termed as internet marketing because it refers to marketing which is done through email and wireless media techniques. Thus, the business is promoted via search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites and mobile advertising.


1. In order to be a successful internet marketer, you first need to have a site that people would be interested to buy and something, easily. The more clicks and hoops the user has to jump through to get to the action page, the fewer customers that will actually reach the part of the transaction where you make money.

2. In order to take a start with the internet marketing business, always try to sell your website after it has become established and established a loyal user base. This is not a get rich quick scheme, you're going to have to invest time in creating content that is interesting and engaging, and then work on ranking high on the search engines for your area of expertise.

3. Do not forget the other search engines out there. Although Google is, by far, the most popular search engine it is not the only one out there and you should not just rely completely on Google for driving traffic to your site. Google, Bing, Yahoo and speciality forums and sites can be just as valuable when it comes to driving traffic to your website.

Hits: 2888

Posted by on in Technology

Product Review and Comparison Articles

Web surfers are constantly looking for reviews and information on products. Could be they saw the product on TV, or an affiliate link, maybe they heard about the item from a friend, irregardless of the reasons they are searching the Internet for an objective opinion before making a purchase. That is where you can really step in and help to attract traffic and build trust by give your readers what they want: an honest review of the product.

Be honest with your reviews. Although a glowing review may prompt readers to buy an item, if the product is, in actuality, garbage you will have lost the trust of that customer. Along with all the good reasons people you should buy the product, do not just gloss over the downsides the product might have. While this may seem like you might be driving people away, presenting a frank view of the product will give readers a sense of confidence that they have the information they need to make up their own minds.

If you do this correctly, it is possible to promote your own affiliate product without seeming like a complete sales pitch on a page where the reader expected to find a even-handed product review. While they may not buy the product then and there, you may have managed to add a subscriber to your list and fostered some trust that will motivate your readers to keep coming back.

Product News

Keep your affiliate marketing site update with the latest news regarding the product. You might want to include the latest promotions, developments, or any new information regarding the product. You can setup a news alert on your favorite search engine to keep up to date on the latest news of the affiliate product.

Hits: 2740

Posted by on in Technology

Looking to add the ability to create Calendar events to your website? I wrote up a quick php script that will allow you to do just that. I am not including the form layout, as there are several out there that force a datetime format when the user clicks on the box. Having said that, let's hop right in

First you'll want to specify that the .ics event gets created inline. So you can call this external script without forcing the user to leave their current page

header("Content-Type: text/Calendar");
header("Content-Disposition: inline; filename=alert.ics");

Next, let's fetch the posted variables from your form. You can create these in separate fields or just call it all at once and split it up on the php side. How you want to do that is really up to you

$year = $_POST['year'];
$month = $_POST['month'];
$day = $_POST['day'];
$time = $_POST['time'] . '00';
$summary = $_POST['summary'];

Next, let's go ahead and build that calendar event folks!

echo "VERSION:2.0\n";
echo "PRODID:-//YourSite//NONSGML YourSite//EN\n";
echo "METHOD:PUBLISH\n"; // required by Outlook
echo "BEGIN:VEVENT\n";
echo "UID:".date('Ymd').'T'.date('His')."-".rand()."\n"; // required by Outlook
echo "DTSTAMP:".date('Ymd').'T'.date('His')."\n"; // required by Outlook
echo "DTSTART:$year"."$month"."$day"."T"."$time\n"; //20120824T093200 (Datetime format required) 
echo "SUMMARY:$summary\n";
echo "DESCRIPTION: this is just a test\n";
echo "END:VEVENT\n";

And there you have it. Quick, easy and no extra libraries required

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Posted by on in Technology

Looking to fetch the last twelve months in Javascript but not clear on how to do it? No worries, I have a quick solution for you. First, however, let's build an array of month dates

var monthArray = new Array("January","February","March","April","May","June",

Now that we have that, let's go ahead and initiate today's date and get the month and year. You can modify this using Javascript's Date Method to be whatever start point you want.

  var today = new Date();
  var month = today.getMonth();
  var year = today.getFullYear();

Now we want to loop through the last twelve months, you can set the 12 to any increment you want, however for the trailing twelve months, this is how you do it

  for(var i = 0; i < 12; i++) {
  $("#monthDiv").(monthArray[today.getMonth()] + " " + year);
  var month = today.setMonth(today.getMonth() - 1);
  var year = today.getFullYear();

There you have it!

Hits: 2938

Posted by on in SEO & Marketing

Internet marketing is a powerful way to connect with the global market and introduce and sell your product or business all around the globe. When looking to expand your online marketing targets, one should consider the creative as well as the traditional SEC and PPC approaches together. Only when you employ both of these methodologies will you really experience any growth in your ability to sell, market, advertise and design your business.


  1. SEO (Search engine optimization): in this type of marketing, the business is promoted through the search engine. Meaning, a site with a good SEO presence will show up first whenever a word or keyword in relation to the business and products is searched. Organic traffic takes time to generate but it is typically free and provides larger profit margins.
  2. Pay per click is another option in which some money is paid to the website by the marketer to bring up his business details and link separately and make it prominent for the random clickers. This method is expensive is requires someone who is knowledgeable in internet marketing methodologies, otherwise you could risk losing a great deal of money for little to no return.
  3. Online auctions have also become a very common yet an excellent way to sell the items at a minimum price and still earn profits. The items are displayed on the website and the users start bidding for the item.
  4. Directory listing is another kind of email marketing wherein the placement of sites takes place in a directory with respect to the categories. The listings can either be available in yellow pages, Yelp, LocalEze, Google Business Listings, Yahoo, etc.
  5. Another option for an already established business is referral marketing. Where you signup on a site such as or and pay affiliates to send traffic, and hopefully customers, to your website.
Hits: 2817

Posted by on in Technology

Ah, the good ol' Facebook API.

Say you want to get your app to use Facebook's infrastructure to link your users by showing which of your user's friends installed your app, but you are encountering some confusing API and FQL calls. You even checked Stackoverflow and Facebook's FQL developer page, but you are still confused.

Have no fear my friend, I spent some time trying to figure this out myself, I already spent my time and leveraged a little of the information from each of these sources to present you with an easy to use(tm) solution.

  • First step, install and call the Faceboook PHP api
  •   <?php
      $facebook = new Facebook(array(
      'appId'  => 'YOUR_APP_ID',
      'secret' => 'YOUR_APP_SECRET',

  • Next Step - Great! Now we need to setup the FQL query ... you can do that as follows (Thanks to Joe over at Stackoverflow for this query):
  •   $fql = "Select name, uid, pic_small from user where is_app_user = 1 and uid in (select uid2 from friend where uid1 = me()) order by concat(first_name,last_name) asc";

  • Final step - make the actual API call
  •   $ret = $facebook->api(array(
      'method' => 'fql.query',
      'query' => "$fql",

    Now you have the results of that query in a ready to use format. If you want to see what was return, in order to determine how to parse it, go ahead and print_r the $ret variable.


And you're good to continue on your way. Happy coding ...

Hits: 4699

Posted by on in SEO & Marketing

Building an effective downline is very important when it comes to attaining success in Internet marketing. This is because of the fact that Internet marketing success is directly dependent on your own effort and indirectly dependent on the effort taken by your referrals or so called downline members. Hence it is your duty to keep your downline members very active in the program. If they remain inactive then you are likely to struggle as an Internet marketer. This is almost true in the case of affiliate programs that allow you to build downlines. There are of course a few affiliate programs that pay you only on the direct sales made by you at the 1st level. Downline does not become important in such programs.

It is of course not difficult to build downlines. All you have to do is promote your affiliate program in such a way that many members sign up for the program and join it under you. The more the new members get themselves enrolled in the program the deeper will your downline grow. This is the beauty of building downlines. You would do well to choose some of the effective free classified sites to promote your affiliate program. Similarly promoting your program through niche forums is also not a bad idea for that matter. You would do well to promote your affiliate program on blogs or through blogging as well.

By keeping your downline members very active your own downline will grow deeper and deeper. This will do a world of good to your confidence too. It is extremely important to keep in touch with the members of your donwline in order to keep them active. You should effectively communicate with the members of your downline. They should be explained about the pros and cons of the program so that they remain rooted in the program for a long time.

Hits: 3106

Posted by on in Technology

Looking to implement jQuery's dialog box but noticing that the jQuery's site document is a little light? Never fear, here's a walkthrough on how to implement and style the box.

First, you're going to need to go to jQuery's site and download the extensions, make sure that dialog option is selected and click on download. Once you have the file, open the zip and drop the jquery-ui-x.x.xx-custom.min.js into your existing scripts folder, or just create a new one if you are calling a remove jQuery

Whew ... now that we're all set there, let's get to coding!

First, you're going to need to call the new custom jQuery in your page ... like so

  <script type="text/javascript" src="/blog/js/jquery-ui-1.8.21.custom.min.js"></script>

Next, go into your site's css file and add the following items to your list of classes and id formatting options. You can edit the CSS as you see fit, but these will get the main formatting down

  .ui-widget-header {
  background-color: #660000;
  border: 1px solid black;
  color: #FFFFFF;
  font-weight: bold;
  .ui-widget-content {
  background-color: white;
  border: 1px solid #DDDDDD;
  color: #333333;
  .ui-dialog {
  overflow: hidden;
  padding: 0.2em;
  .ui-dialog-content {
  background: none repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;
  border: 0 none;
  overflow: auto;
  padding: 0.5em 1em;
  position: relative;
  height: auto;
  min-height: 111.4px;
  width: auto;
  .ui-dialog-title {
  float: left;
  margin: 0.1em 16px 0.1em 0;
  .ui-dialog-titlebar {
  padding: 0.4em 1em;
  position: relative;
  height: 1em;
  .ui-dialog-titlebar-close span {
  display: block;
  margin: 1px;
  .ui-dialog-titlebar-close {
  height: 18px;
  margin: -10px 0 0;
  padding: 1px;
  position: absolute;
  right: 0.3em;
  top: 50%;
  width: 19px;
  .ui-icon {
  background: url('/blog/../images/close.png') no-repeat;
  overflow: hidden;
  text-indent: -99999px;
  width: 16px;

Great! Now we're ready to implement the function that will be called on your site with the jQuery onclick (or for whatever you're planning for this dialog UI). You'll want to have this box hidden with a css class when the page loads, if it's onclick ... which is what the example below assumes.

  <script type="text/javascript">
    function dialogBox() {

Now that we have the framework ... let's create the dialog content div and the div that opens this dialog box on click

  <!--The div that opens the Dialog Box-->
   Click me!
  <!--The dialog Box Content-->

Happy coding!

Hits: 13355

Web Applications

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