Making Ends Meet

In recent years you could say that I’ve become something of a cheap so-and-so. In reality though the economy has taken a big bite out of my available spending power. A buck just plain doesn’t go as far as it used to and that cold hard fact has forced me to be as frugal as I can be.

This means that I’m all the time looking for sales, specials and other ways to save money. I recently ran across a site that could very well end up being a part of that process. walmart coupons at dropdowndeals has coupons for all kinds of stuff at Walmart and since I live in a small town where the local supercenter is pretty much the main place to shop, I’m definitely going to be going over those coupons before I plan my next trip to Walmart.

Not only does a dollar not go as far as it used to, there aren’t nearly as many of them available either.

[tags]walmart, coupons, savings, saving money[/tags]

Is Your ISP Getting Ready?

I know that, so far, mine is not. In fact, from what they’ve told me several times over the last year, they have no plans to get ready at all. This makes no more sense to me than handing a bottle of diet pills to an anorexic. It is a just plain bad idea and sooner or later everybody involved is going to regret it.

What am I talking about?

Only a few weeks ago IANA handed out the last five /8 blocks of IPV4 addresses to the RIRs. This means that sometime over the next year or so those addresses are going to run out. When they do, ISPs, Businesses, Governments and so on will have to have implemented IPV6 with is the successor to IPV4 or there WILL be connection problems.

ISPs that choose to keep their customers on IPV4 and simply implement a gateway to IPV6 are going to quickly find a lot of dissatisfied customers when those customers find out that working through that gateway is not the same as connecting directly like they should.

So. Is your ISP getting ready? Call them and ask. Keep asking until they have a good answer.

[tags]ipv4, ipv6, ip address, ip address supply, implement ipv6[/tags]

Stupid Obnoxious Commercials

I fully understand that advertising is extremely important to a lot of sites because it’s how those sites make the money needed to keep them online and lets not forget about the profits that inspire the powers that be to WANT to keep it online.

What I DO have a problem with is the stupidity of many commercials and the way some of them do obnoxious things like using the old television trick of setting the commercial volume significantly higher than that of the program. As you can guess, online video sites like Hulu.com, are some of the worst offenders. Don’t get me wrong, I like Hulu and I watch a lot of video there, I just think that a lot of the advertising leaves a lot to be desired.

[tags]advertising, stupid ads, obnoxious ads, watch online, tv shows, movies, youtube, hulu, online video[/tags]

HTTPS Everywhere For Online Privacy

Privacy and the potential for identity theft is a big topic these days. Yet most people carelessly surf the web every day without regard to their privacy.

You see, even though you may not actually have anything to hide, it’s still a matter of good sense to keep your browsing private. Regardless of whether you’re reading phentermine reviews, buying a new car or checking your online bank statement, you really should take steps to keep your browsing private.

One reason is that you want to make it harder for people to steal your login information to sites like your bank’s website, any and all sites that you have a paid membership to and sites where you make online purchases and of course, your social networking site logins.

One way to achieve this is to always use HTTPS, also known as SSL, encrypted links. The problem is that not nearly enough sites use it. One way to help increase your security is to use a Firefox plugin called Https Everywhere. It rewrites urls for many sites so that your session is protected by end to end encryption.

It’s not a cure all, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. The cure all would involve ALL websites exclusively using HTTPS on all connections. It would also involve people learning how to use encryption in their emails but that’s another subject that I’ll reserve for it’s own rant.

[tags]http, https, https everywhere, security, private browsing, privacy, identity theft, session hijacking[/tags]

Willy The Wannabe Web Designer

Willy (not his real name) is a kid that lives a few blocks over. This year he’s graduating from Nutjob Hills High and unlike many kids his age, he *KNOWS* what he wants to do. He want’s to be a web designer in the worst way. He’s been studying HTML, Java, javascript, perl, and several other website related languages for a couple of years and I understand that instead of a traditional college he’s going to attend some kind of web design school.

I certainly hope he makes it because I know that it’s become a really competitive field. However in order to do that he’s going to HAVE to pay attention to the aesthetics and logic of how a website should be designed.

I say this because I’ve seen some of the sites that he has designed in the last few months and while they technically do what they’re supposed to, the one thing that they DON’T do is make sense. Instead of having any kind of structured menu system he simply puts links and controls in where ever he is on the page at the time and proper formatting be damned.

For example on one page he’s got this long huge list of links for subsections of a site that aren’t even in any kind of order. There’s also the nature of the links. They all start with “click here for”. Then there’s the lack of order. There’s a list of links for things like ‘this weeks hottest book’, ‘pictures of mom’, ‘Joe’s hairline’, ‘Jane’s zit problem’, ‘health for your spleen’, ‘skin care for mormons’/ Right next to click here for acne products is ‘lunch for tuesday’, ‘fight schedule for saturday’, and ‘check out my youtube page’… just to name one example. All that is on the same page.

There’s no paragraph breaks, no punctuation, no grouping of similar things together, nothing. There’s long huge lists of things that would be much easier to deal with in a dropdown listbox but he’s got them on the page as a list of links without even carriage returns or paragraph breaks.

As I said, he wants to be a web designer in the worst way. and at the rate he’s going, he will be. The very worst.

[tags]web design, structure, wannabe, nutjob hills, odd[/tags]