Categories
Guest Posts Science & Nature

Amazing Science – Photons and Optical Fiber Cable

Today, most of our online data transmissions pass through fiber-optic cables. And as most of us know, fiber-optic cables are simply long, thin strands of glass which allow light to bounce and refract from one-end to the other without leaving the cable. It’s a bit like shining a flashlight down a long, mirrored tube.

One of the great benefits of fiber-optic cabling is that it can transmit multiple signals at the same time by combining different colors. (Photons with different wavelengths) Because of this, the number of simultaneous signals which can pass through a fiber optic cable is theoretically limited only by the accuracy and precision of the hardware. Compare this with a copper wire, which can only send one signal at a time.

But few people really appreciate how much incredible science goes into fiber optic networking, or the fascinating principles which govern this technology that has such a profound impact on our daily lives.

One of these principles is what’s often called the “Lifeguard Principle”, also referred to as the “principle of minimal action” or “principle of least action”.

Now I’m not a scientist, and I may slightly over-generalize in certain areas. But I’ll attempt to present these principles in the most accurate way that I can in laymen’s terms.

We all know that the shortest path from point A to point B is a straight line. But what about the FASTEST distance?

How to get from A to B?

For example, let’s assume that you’re a lifeguard that sees a drowning swimmer off in the distance. The shortest route to that swimmer would be to follow a straight line towards the swimmer through land and water.

From A to B in shortest path

But in a life-or-death situation, every second counts. The running portion of this trajectory may be very fast, but the swimming portion will be very slow. If you waste too much time swimming, the person you’re trying to save might drown.

From A to B in potentially shortest time (fasted path)

Another approach might be to run along the beach until you reach the point which offers the shortest swimming distance. Although this may take care of the swimming problem, now you’ve spent too much time running. Yes, this route may be faster than the “straight line” approach, but it’s still possible to shave off a few more precious life-saving seconds.

Somewhere in between these 2 strategies, there is a sweet spot where the combination of swimming and running time is reduced to the absolute minimum.

From A to B in shortest time (fasted path)

It’s possible to calculate this optimal trajectory using complex calculus, but I won’t bore you with that for this article.

Now let’s take this principle and apply it to a photon of light instead of a lifeguard.

If you’re standing in a boat and you point a laser at a fish in the water, what will happen?

Photons automatically travel in fasted path

Of course, we all know that the light beam will bend when it hits the surface. But how does the beam “decide” which angle to bend at?

Scientists have been able to calculate the speed at which light travels through different substances such as air and water. And when you combine the speed of light through air and the speed of light through water, you can make an interesting observation.

If you add up the time it takes for the light to go from the laser to the water and the time it takes for the light to travel from the water’s surface to the fish, it turns out that the trajectory which is taken by those photons is the shortest possible route for a photon of that wavelength.

In other words:

If the photon was a lifeguard and the fish was a drowning swimmer, the light would always pick the route which requires the least amount of time to reach the swimmer. And it’s this principle which dictates how the light decides to refract when it reaches the water’s surface.

To an untrained layman, this seems almost miraculous. It’s almost as if the photon could see into the future and plot a path to its final destination before it ever left the laser. And it’s almost as if the photon was able to perform the difficult calculus required to find the shortest possible path.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple. But it’s a clear demonstration of how beautiful science can be.

This least-action principle is also critical to optical networking technology. When you send a message through a fiber optic cable, it truly does take the fastest possible route to its final destination. And if it wasn’t for the principle described above, Internet connectivity would not be possible.

There are many other implications which result from this phenomenon, but they are simply beyond my understanding so I couldn’t speak to those issues.

About The Author: Patrick Jobin is a technical writer with Storagepipe Solutions, a leader in serious server online backup services for datacenters and corporate networks.

Categories
Kavoir & Whatever Science & Nature

New LHC Data Hints Strongly at Higgs Boson

What gives matter mass?

This seemingly simple question has had physicists around the world working to detect and identify the Higgs boson, known in popular media as the “God particle,” the physical constituent that has long been thought to interact with other forms of matter, giving it mass. The search has lasted since 1964, the year that physicist Peter Higgs and his colleagues presented the scientific community with a fully fleshed-out theory on the mass-giving particle; more than 45 years later, the search may be over.

Scientists working in Switzerland’s CERN-owned Large Hadron Collider announced yesterday that years of study have culminated in observations of a new particle, thought widely to be the Higgs boson due to its intrinsic properties. While some of the particle’s properties have yet to be analyzed, it was found in the the mass region around 125-126 GeV, the energetic area expected to produce the “God particle.”

I congratulate the thousands of scientists around the globe for their outstanding work in searching for the Higgs boson. Today’s announcement on the latest results of this search shows the benefits of sustained investments in basic science by governments around the world. Scientists have been looking for the Higgs particle for more than two decades; these results help validate the Standard Model used by scientists to explain the nature of matter.

– Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy

The announcement is being hailed by scientists from every part of the globe as a major success story in the long search for one of the most important fundamental particles in the universe (not to mention its popularity with those in design fields given scientists’ use of the widely-loathed Comic Sans font in their presentation materials), as the $6 billion LHC particle accelerator continues to analyze new detail in the hopes of offering indisputable evidence of the new particle next year.

Absolute surety or not, July 3, 2012 will be remembered throughout scientific history as the day that humankind’s ingenuity lead us to to solve one of the most subtle mysteries of the physical universe.

Source: Fermilab Today

Categories
Domains My Personal Reviews

Register.com Scam Review – Considering Them? Stop!

Update: After some communications with Register.com, I was able to acquire the transfer authorization code via their live chat support.

For people who are considering Register.com, I’ve got something new. Well probably not new but I just found it out myself the hard way how Register.com is a SCAM.

Sneaky Pricing at Register.com

I registered a .com with them a couple months ago at a bargain price of $2.95 (or so) and when I learned that the renewal price for the next year was like $38 / year, I said to myself, woahh, what an idiot must had I been registering this name with them in the first place?!

38 dollar  per year renewal price at Register.com

For people who are new to domains, you can get a .com name at almost any other registrars at no more than $10 / year (new registration or renewal), with much better control panel and functionalities.

The next thing I found myself doing was trying to get an authorization code so I could transfer it to another registrar. It wasn’t easy – I clicked around for about 5 minutes to find the tiny link at the bottom of the page where they would allow me to retrieve the auth code and guess what. After I clicked the link, they offered me a totally different price for renewing – $10 / year:

different renewal price for people who want to transfer away

What a douche.

And stupid.

Worst business practice ever.

Who else is offended by this moronic trick that they thought would do good to their sales?

It actually punishes loyal customers who take good faith in them in the first place yet rewards disloyal ones who are looking to get away from them.

What kind of business does that??!!

Apparently, I clicked “Continue Transfer” and requested the auth code.

Register.com Takes 7 Days to Review Your Request for an Auth Code

Turned out I couldn’t get my auth code at once. Unlike all (probably) other registrars that instantly sends you the transfer auth code upon request, Register.com sends it 7 days after request. And they only promised to review the request! They may end up NOT sending you the auth code at all at their discretion.

It was lucky of me who had found about this delay policy long before the renewal due date, otherwise I’d probably have to take one of the offers and renew another year with them should I want to keep the domain from dropping.

However, this isn’t the best part.

They declined my request for the auth code.

Yep. And this is their message addressed to me regarding my request for the auth code. Seemed I had some suspicious activity in my account and now I have to do a phone call to their customer service consultants at 1.888.734.4783 to get the auth code I need for my domain.

Dear Yang Yang,

You recently requested an auth code to transfer your “xxxxxxx.com” domain name.
Your request has been processed and at this time it has been declined due to recent suspicious activity in your account.

Register.com is committed to providing the most secure and reliable domain services for our customers. We have implemented specific security measures to help prevent unauthorized transfer of domains to another registrar.

The type of suspicious activity that could have caused your request to be declined includes:
–       Multiple failed attempts to login to customer’s account
–       Recent changes to the account holder’s name, email address, or login ID
–       Attempts to access the account over the phone without authorization
–       Recent changes to the accounts password
–       Domain name lock not removed
–       Recent changes to billing or credit card information

To receive your auth code, please call one of our customer service consultants at 1.888.734.4783.  They will confirm you to the account and then fulfill your request.

Thank You,

Sandy Ross
EVP, Customer Service
Register.com

Lucky of me again, this one domain with them wasn’t so very big a deal to me. I think I’ll just leave it un-renewed. It was well worth $3 bucks for finding out a thug registrar this way.

Register.com is now on my blacklist for all my future domain needs.

Now to the appalling part – I’m UNABLE to turn off the auto-renewal.

Obviously, I would want to turn off the auto-renewal of my domain or at the end of the registration cycle Register.com would bill my credit card again which is the last thing I want. I would rather delete or drop the domain than to be forced to continue paying them.

unable to turn off auto-renew at Register.com

There’s essentially no ‘No’ option for “Automatic SafeRenew Enabled” and the “Update” button is basically unclickable.

A credit card charge-back seems to be inevitable.

More Horror Stories with Register.com

Just Google for “Register.com Review” or “Register.com Scam” to see for yourself.

  1. http://www.hostingkids.com/host/register.com/
  2. http://www.dnforum.com/f557/register-com-scam-thread-18490.html
  3. http://www.webhostingstuff.com/review/Registercom.html
  4. http://www.whoishostingthis.com/hosting-reviews/register-com/
  5. http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/register-com.aspx
  6. http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1163283
Categories
eCommerce & Shopping Online My Personal Reviews WordPress How To

My WooThemes Review

WooThemesAs WordPress becomes the de facto standard of web publishing, the need for quality WordPress themes have soared. There are lots of themes vendors across the web but I finally made up my mind to go with WooThemes and signed up a $125 membership with them a few months back. I never looked back. Here are the things I like or don’t like about them off the top of my head.

Good things

  1. Some of the themes look so fantastic and unique! Their themes are much more than just blogs.
  2. They retire old themes that went out of fashion. This means they are very picky of what they offer. When I first signed up, it’s about 125 themes in their repository but recently it has been downsized to 100.
  3. They UPDATE. I log back in my account at WooThemes.com every a few days and the version numbers of the themes change very frequently. Many old themes have been regularly updated and patched since being released more than 2 years ago.
  4. They release new themes every month. While it’s not as exactly as 2 themes per month as they promise, it’s approximately in that pace. And the latest ones are the best.
  5. They have very sophisticated yet easy to use backend configuration panels for every theme. Each of them comes with hundreds of different options regarding a variety of aspects. The administration is quite enjoyable.
    WOOTHEMES CONTROL PANEL
  6. They reply to EVERY THREAD in their member community with usable advice and sensible solutions in less than 24 hours. Sometimes it takes longer for advanced questions that would be assigned to a senior support staff. I asked a total of 16 questions at their community forum and all of them got resolved in less than 48 hours with clear, detailed and professional answers. I actually become better with WordPress (know many useful plugins that make my life easier writing for the web) since I started participating in their forums.
  7. As an intermediate web programmer myself, from viewing their code base and from the answers to my questions, I can tell they have designed their products (themes, theme framework and WooCommerce) well. It’s not a novice-work that’s pieced together and then duplicated over and over again. What they make is a well-formed ecosystem that’s capable of forgiving and extending. It’s both robustly functioning and beautifully usable.
  8. Very great value for money. With this coupon code:

    $25 OFF STANDARD MEMBERSHIP OR $40 OFF DEVELOPER MEMBERSHIP
    WOO2011
    Click To Open/Copy

    You would only need to pay $100 (with $25 OFF, or $40 OFF for developer membership) for a standard membership that instantly enables you to download ALL of their current themes for a month. And subsequent subscription is just $20 per month that you can choose to deactivate or re-activate any time you want without any additional charges.

Not so good things

  1. About 1/2 of the themes don’t look that good, especially old ones. This is probably because they have designed their website so beautiful that I have high expectations from their products and become too easy to be disappointed by their themes.
  2. I tried to think of things I don’t like about them for the last hour…….and I couldn’t think of any, except one time I asked a question about the product image resizing issue for one of their WooCommerce themes and got replies that insisted it was my problem rather than theirs. They turned out to be right. It was my problem because I was not familiar with the WooCommerce options. But still. If a user can be blamed for incompetence to use the software, it’s a developer fail without excuses.

Conclusion

To sum up, I give 4.8 / 5 to WooThemes. Go with them, if WordPress is your core publishing platform. Period. With WooCommerce and their e-Commerce themes, WordPress can be a very powerful online store as well. Being a member of them would make sure you stay on the decisive edge of web design trends for your web projects.

Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Hosting Tips & Deals Kavoir & Whatever

KnownHost Coupon Code (75% and 10% Off) and My New Office

I’m having Kavoir moved to Knownhost and now that I have 2 different VPS packages with them, I’m qualified to have an VIP coupon to spread out for 10% off any hosting package purchased with it. It’s one of the best managed VPS hosts around if you search for their reviews on WHT. I’d highly recommend the VS-2 package that is their most cost-effective plan.

KnownHost.com – 75% Off First Month + 10% Off Lifetime

Anyway, if you do make up your mind to sign up with them, go ahead and use this coupon code to claim the 75% off first month and then 10% off lifetime discount:

KnownHost: 75% Off First Month + 10% Off Lifetime
KHBESTUPTIME
Click To Open/Copy

Other than this

I just moved to my new office with a bigger, compound space on 2 floors. Pictured here is the first floor which will serve as a salon for people who are interested in Internet marketing and online businesses. We will talk here about trends and potential opportunities and collaborate on some of them. The second floor will be the actual place where my employees work which is still being decorated and for now is only equipped with a 4-men working unit with 4 DELL Vostro All-in-One computers.

1

Eiffel Eames style plastic armchairs, you can find similar items on Amazon at here and here as well. I love green and black, with a modern tone.

2

Quite spacious, until a 3.9m sofa I ordered comes in. I’m planning to get a bigger library unit than the bookshelf to accommodate more books from Amazon.

3

How does the curtain go with the room theme?

4

Some books I bought on Amazon.

Here are 2 updated pictures of the office after the sofa has shipped in.

Photos taken by the built-in camera of Nokia E71. Not bad for a grandpa phone, eh..

In case you would travel to Xi’an, China, drop me a comment or message and I’ll be very glad to be your host! Winking smile

Categories
Internet Tools Kavoir & Whatever

Moredays: Beautiful Productivity Tool To Release iOS Apps Soon

I have previously reviewed Moredays, the cool productivity tool that is also fun, right after its Beta launch in October last year.

Since then, the digital organizer and scrapbook in one has continued improving, adding in for example the ability to sync with Google Apps, that now makes it pleasure to use. They’ve stayed true to focus on photos and graphics, which alone would warrant a second try, but if you were still hesitant, the soon-to-be-released native iOS apps should make you change your mind.

moredays screens blog on iphone

Moredays focuses on bringing the best user experience for each device. Their iPhone app makes the most of the small screen, letting you easily check what’s on your agenda for any given day or add items on the fly.

The iPad version, on the other hand, seems like a great tool for someone eager to take notes in a meeting or get an overview of the whole week ahead.

moredays

Both of these apps are in final stages of development and testing and will be released in the next few weeks. Will you be checking them out?

Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes eCommerce & Shopping Online Kavoir & Whatever Magento Tips PayPal & Ecommerce

Avalanche Coupon Code (Magento Theme)

Avalanche Magento themeJake (fastdivision.com) was kind enough to offer me a coupon code so that my readers can enjoy the Avalanche Magento theme at 15% discount. In case you haven’t read my review of the Avalanche theme, it is the current sensation going on in the Magento-sphere. In the shortest words, I think it’s the best Magento theme because of 3 reasons:

  1. It is built by someone who’s insanely good at the website stuff (HTML, CSS, PHP, design, user experience, etc.). and who pursues perfection.
  2. It has unparalleled support – read my review and you will know. Better yet, join the club to experience yourself!
  3. The theme is very very good (best is a pretty strong word and I’ll leave it to you) in all aspects I can think of AND it’s being pushed to be better every day. Read Jake’s blog. He’s just finished working on and released a mobile version of Avalanche.

Coupon Code for Avalanche

OK here’s the coupon part. If you have made up your mind to purchase Avalanche, use this coupon code when checking out:

KAVOIR
Click To Open/Copy

Just enter it in the “Enter coupon code” text box at the end of the checkout page:

Avalanche coupon code for 15% off

And you will have the 15% discount off the normal pricing of $199 and $399 which would then be $169.15 and $339.15 respectively. Always nice to save a few bucks.

Enjoy!

Categories
Business and Marketing Coupons and Promo Codes Free Web Templates Internet Tools My Personal Reviews

Webmium Review – WYSIWYG Website Builder

Webmium 40% Discount Promo Code: KAVOIRWebmium may not have much to look at on their website – for which they better hurry up and get a better design – it’s actually very very easy and intuitive to use.  With adequate features, abundant site templates to choose from, and hundreds of online marketing guides, it’s the combo solution for people who want to get their business website up in less than 10 minutes, without having to spend an arm and a leg to tackle the challenges of web design, web development, web hosting, and web marketing. Webmium has it all.

Unbelievably Easy and Intuitive

After a few minutes of clicking and typing, my first site on Webmium was up and running – Xi’an Jobs. I didn’t have to think once to get my job done. Everything seemed to be right there when I needed it. I felt like a breeze being pushed by the wind, naturally and comfortably and never did I have to sweat any effort to accomplish the whole website which is decent enough for most undertakings. Your site is well modularized so that you can freely switch between themes / layout and move around objects without jeopardizing anything. Your content is never hard coded.

A WYSIWYG Website Editor Better than Desktop Programs

Everyone can learn and start doing it in a minute. In fact, it’s so intuitive and easy that everything including editing text, uploading image, adding contact form and creating another page is accomplished within one editor page. Check out the editor screenshot:

webmium website editor

You don’t get any more WYSIWYG than this. Lots of desktop website creator programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Expression Web available on the market who claim to be WYSIWYG don’t come up close. You have to view the produced web page in a browser to see the final results. But with Webmium, it’s all in there, 100% WYSIWYG and never again do you have to scratch your head and ask why the hell does it look so different in the browser from that in the editor.

Free Entry Plan – Very Good for SEO

Best of all it’s free and they’ve got tons of FREE templates to choose from. You should get one up on Webmium right now. Sign up with them. It’s definitely worth the time to have an external page of content up for the sake of SEO. Be sure to create useful, original and rich content or Google won’t buy it just because it’s on a distant IP. Webmium has an auto-submission feature that after you have published your site it will automatically submit the site to search engines like Google.

My tiny site about Xi’an Jobs ( http://xian.webmium.com/ ) was indexed by Google 8 hours after being published at Webmium. Definitely looks promising from the perspective of SEO.

Quick Built-in Guides to Kick Start Your Online Marketing

For small business owners who don’t know how to have their own website online, Webmium is the no-brainer choice. It has got hundreds of articles and guides in the Marketing Academy on how to do it and what the best practices are, about not only the technical aspects but also the marketing part. It’s a perfect companion for starter small businesses owners who want to have their website up today, in the minimum effort and cost possible. And you are well guided along the way with built-in tips while you are building your online presence.

What can be improved about Webmium?

It’s a greatly simple and useful solution for starter business owners but there are definitely ways that Webmium can be improved. I’ll just lay out a few of the problems I met when playing with it:

  1. Currently there’s no way I can add text beside the logo. It’s either a logo or a text but you can’t combine.
  2. I don’t seem to be able to align social buttons such as facebook like buttons and tweet buttons together. Weird.
  3. Unable to modify footer attribution to add copyright notice, etc. I guess it’s because I’m on the free plan. You would probably be able to do that after upgrading to the PRO plan.
  4. For now, each account is limited to one website / domain. I think they can definitely offer the ability to create and manage multiple websites under one account in the PRO plan.

Other than these, Webmium is looking a prosperous future if they keep shaping it better.

Upgrading to PRO? Use a Promo Code!

Webmium was kind enough to offer an exclusive promo code to the readers of Kavoir.com. If you want to take advantage of the PRO plan that offers all the easiness to build a small business website as well as unlimited storage and bandwidth, use promo code:

KAVOIR
Click To Open/Copy

Like this:

Webmium Promo Code

When you are upgrading but before making payment. It would give you a nice 40% discount off the listed price.

Categories
Internet Tools My Personal Reviews

Invoicera Review – Online Invoice Software & Client Billing Software

Let’s be honest here. One of the most dreaded dreams for any working professionals perhaps is generating timely and professional invoices. Important as they are for ensuring timely payments, it is a pain to sacrifice time and make an effort to track down all the details. If you are having a tough time preparing invoices and the accompanying reports, a valued solution that lies with you is Invoicera. Invoicera is a completely web hosted application that effortlessly works towards getting the invoice generation job done, in a professional manner.

A sturdy online invoicing and billing application, Invoicera provides you with a self explanatory user interface along with poignant and much sought after set of features and functionalities. Thus it seamlessly simplify and streamline the entire process of generating and sending invoices.

Invoicera control panel

Language Multiplicity and Multicurrency support

This is a major factor, which gives Invoicera an edge over various other online billing systems in the market. Invoicera supports 11 different languages and more than 100 currencies.

Effortlessly Manage Your Clients

In the client section apart from managing and adding your new clients you can also view their account statements and create custom fields and entries which you deem necessary.

To overview the complete details of any particular client there is an automated Report generator, which gives you the ease of analyzing the dealings and business you have had with the customer.

Incredible Time Tracking

With its expert time tracking capabilities, you can be rest assured to track down every minute of your time that you have spent on the projects for your clients. It completely nullifies all the worries surrounding time tracking and you can easily keep a check on how much time you have spent on a particular project.

Template Customization Service

In case you are not technically trained in customizing the look of the invoice / setimate templates, Invoicera provides you with the option of Invoice Template Customization service. This will provide you with the expert services of seasoned technical experts and you can easily customize the look of the invoice that you send, as per the need of your business.

Schedule Your Invoices Easily & Charge Late Fee from Defaulters

A stand out point of Invoicera is that unlike other similar apps, with Invoicera you can easily schedule each of the invoices needed to be delivered. You can simply schedule the date and time on which you need to send out the invoices to the users and the intuitive online invoicing solution that Invoicera is, it will make sure that invoices are delivered right on scheduled time. Besides, with just a click of the mouse, you can add the late fee charges and get reimbursed for the same.

Other Benefits That Invoicera Offers:

  • Login and carry out some invoicing tasks wherever you have access to the Internet either via PC or laptop,
  • Flexible pricing depending on your usage levels,
  • Constant updates and support,
  • No large up front application costs,
  • Data security and backup

In Short

Invoicera is vast enough to confound all the different invoicing requirements of your web site and you assure yourself productive gains by availing its services. Besides, their customer support and related services are impeccable and unmatched. Thus if at any time you stumble, Invoicera provides you with enough options to continue the smooth sailing.

Invoicera - online invoicing

Categories
Make Money Online My Personal Reviews WordPress How To

WordPress: Display Ads in Post Content and Only Display Ads in Old Posts

The title pretty much says it all. It’s 2 of the most useful AdSense ads tips for bloggers in my opinion. Obtrusive ads have the unnecessary effect of driving away readers after they have found what they needed. Unless you have amazingly great content, the chance of them becoming a loyal reader is rather low when you have ads splashing into their faces – this is not something you want to do to your subscribed readers. On the other hand, you’d want to maximize your AdSense earnings by putting up ads on as many posts as possible.

Ad Injection (WP plugin)

This tiny little plugin, Ad Injection, gets it all. Very useful plugin for you to insert AdSense ads in your blog posts AND set a specific age threshold for the posts to display ads, so freshly published articles won’t have ads to drive your subscribers away. See detailed introduction here: Ad Injection for WordPress.

Just install it from the inventory (upload or install from within your WP administrator panel) and activate it. Go to Settings > Ad Injection > “Random ad (inserted randomly between paragraphs)” and insert your AdSense code there. Depending on how aggressive you are, you can use a variety of ad formats from Google. I used a 468×15 links banner on Health Not. Check out the screenshot below:

insert ads in wordpress posts

By default, Ad Injection inserts a maximum of 2 instances of the Random ad per post. This way, the ads are well blended in the content. What works a few years back with the 336 square ad format on top of the content is gradually dying out in CTR thus click revenues. You should try something new such as this.

Another useful option of the plugin is to set “Only show normal ads on pages older than xx (days) – only for single posts and pages”. This would prove very useful if you want a good balance between ad performance / earnings and user experiences. Only displaying ads on older posts are a pretty good idea for creating a good first impression to those who stumble upon your site.