Skip to main content

Your Identity

If you are an SEO, can I say that I’m a PPC?

If you are an MBA, then can I call any degree or skill I have as my identity?

What you have and who you are aren’t necessarily the same thing.

I am not analysis, optimization, or advertising.
I am a human being who has intrinsic value independent of my skill, job title, and accomplishments.

You, my friend, have immense value even if you don’t have a Ph. D in your email signature line.

And sometimes it’s okay to just sit there and be content– to not have to “hustle” all the time or be guilted into maintaining false appearances.

You have permission to just be.

I’ve done little work the last 3 weeks, and it’s been great. 9 flights over 8 hours each, plus a dozen short ones. No wifi.

I used to joke that I work part-time- just choose which 12 hours of each day.

But now I “work” only 4 hours each day, with learning being the bulk of my time. 2 hours for clients and 2 hours for our team.

I’ve said NO to thousands of requests for meetings with no guilt. And that has pissed off potential clients who weren’t a fit anyway.

Those people expect instant response and for free, who don’t respect your precious time.

Be around those who love you and who you love, independent of your degree, skill, or title.

Buying network attached storage

So the time has come, and you want to buy some network attached storage (NAS). The question is how do you decide what you need in a NAS? Here are some basic criteria you can use to decide:

Storage

The most important factor is the amount of storage you need. This alone will determine the kind of device. The more storage you need, the larger the device. With modern 6TB drives, an 8-bay NAS will hold 40TB of data and can handle a single drive failure. The budget will also play a part since the larger drives are quite expensive.

Redundancy

The safety of that data also plays a part in the decision. A RAID 5 array can handle the failure of a single drive. You can increase this by committing more drives to the pool, but that reduces the amount of storage. Also, you can add spare drives that only activate when another drive fails. Once a drive fails, it will need a replacement quickly.

Backup

A higher-end NAS is a mini computer and can run applications. These applications are specific to the device and come from the vendor. These devices can run the backup software and use cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox as targets.

Network Speed

There are usually three options when it comes to network speed. There are 100mbit ports, Gigabit ports and an aggregation of several of the same ports. If there are a lot of people accessing large amounts of data from the same device, then invest in a device with multiple gigabit ports.

Four important factors when looking for an EDI solution

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

When it comes to choosing EDI services, the toughest point is when you begin evaluating options. A business needs scalable solutions that will allow them to grow and have the capacity to support that growth. The capacity, along with expertise should form the basis of your selection criteria. Also, here are four more factors that should play a role in your decision:

Transaction volume

The first step is to gather as much information about your organization as possible. The most important number is that of your monthly transactions. The count should include all documents sent and received in whatever form. In future, all this will be digital, but for the count, include all forms of communication. Now we know how many transactions we have, what sort of effect growth will have on those numbers.

Integration

Most organizations use some form of ERP software. The larger companies will use software like SAP, NetSuite while smaller outfits will have systems like BusinessByDesign. Ideally, the EDI outsource should integrate directly with your ERP and other in-house software, creating one seamless system. This way everything from reorders levels to order fulfillment to warehouse management will be seamless and error free.

Support

Lastly, look at their service and support offerings. If possible, ask for references and inquire about after-sales and other support including issue resolution and triage. Important business critical systems need top-level support in times of crisis.

____________________________________________

Not everyone needs millions of EDI transactions a month. Act Data is a provider of EDI services including web-based EDI solutions.

Kickstarter? Why More Filmmakers are Seeking Independent Funding

You might have heard how many successful indie films and video games have had Kickstarters raise enough money to fund production. The biggest example is probably the Veronica Mars movie, which raised more than $5 million to fund its production, but there are several examples of small and medium sized movies making their goals and seeing the light of day.

With all of this crowdfunding, you might think that engaging with private investors has gone the way of the Dodo.  That’s not so. In fact, many up and coming filmmakers are still seeking out private investment even when they have a successful Kickstarter. Here’s more of the lowdown behind how tech plays a role in film investing, and why traditional investing is making a comeback.

Funding Portions

The reality for many filmmakers today is that Kickstarter funds usually only cover a fraction of the costs. Private investors will carry the costs of music rights, post production and other important investments that come with even the simplest of productions. Kickstarters are often a good sign there is interest in the film, and a way to either secure that little bit extra to make it special, or provide a way to recoup some of the potential losses if the film bombs.

Traditional Funding

Traditional film funding has gotten much more accessible. Many cities across the United States have a film bureau setup to help you figure out taxes, and other potential incentives you can use to acquire investors. You may even be able to find an investor directly through that organization. It’s always helpful to find someone local, and there are more resources around the US today than ever before.

Bio: Omar Amanat is a film investor and philanthropist who donates funds from the films he produces to charities of his choice.

Costs to factor when deciding on colocation

Written by Rack Alley

There are several options when it comes to server hosting now. There is the in-house system, colocation, server hosting and cloud hosting. Many organizations still prefer colocation at an LA data center to cloud hosting due to predictable costs and existing infrastructure. Here are several cost factors to take into account when making the decision:

Floor space

Rack space at a colocation facility is much cheaper than renting floor space. A proper in-house data center requires floor space for the actual equipment plus the support gear like UPS, batteries and cooling/heating.

Network access requirement

Point to point links are cheaper than ever, making it more cost effective to channel all connectivity through a data center, where internet bandwidth is much cheaper. Road warriors and home office workers can connect using a VPN.

Hardware under warranty

One of the reasons that it makes financial sense for companies to choose colocation over server hosting Los Angeles or a cloud implementation is the amount of hardware that is still under warranty. The more hardware that is within the warranty and support lifetime the more it makes sense to co-locate. Cloud hosting will not use any existing equipment.

Physical security

From an audit perspective, firms require several levels of security for data centers. Achieving this level of security in-house can be expensive. This security is not required for services like server hosting Los Angeles, but only for services that involve a physical asset of that organization.

______________________________________________________________

Rack Alley is an LA colocation and hosting services provider.

The number one way to reduce shopping cart abandonment

Written by Secure Net Shop

The high rate of shopping cart e-commerce abandonment is a big issue for online retailers. What many of these stores do not realize is that this is an opportunity to increase sales with just a few changes. With shopping cart abandonment as high at 75%, according to Listrak, this means that only one out of every four completes a purchase. Decreasing abandonment by 25% alone, will double sales. Here is the single change that will bring about the biggest reductions in abandonment:

Free shipping. According to Forrester, 44% of cart abandonment is due to shipping costs. It is the number one cause. Free shipping is available in many places, and customers have come to expect it from everywhere. Even if it involves increasing the price of the product, free shipping is the number one way to increase sales and reduce cart abandonment.

Sometimes there are scenarios where you cannot absorb the cost of free shipping, not can you absorb it into the cost of the product. In those situations, offer free shipping beyond a threshold and make it clear from the start. For example, you can offer free shipping for orders over a $100. E-commerce cart software support conditional free shipping.

________________________________________________________________________

If you want to succeed at running an online business, you are going to need an online store. The commerce shopping cart sold by Secure Net Shop should be at the top of your list.

 

Server room air conditioning choices

Written by MovinCool.com

There is no perfect choice when it comes to air conditioning for a server room. The two primary determinants are the size of the server room and the thermal load of the equipment (the demand in BTU). Here are a few of the choices available for data center cooling:

Window air conditions

Although listed here, this is not really an option. The problem with window units is a lack of reliability and the inability for technicians to service the units easily. It might be the cheapest option, but it does not belong in the data center. It does not fit any of the requirements of industrial cooling.

Wall mounted split types

These are the most common types used for smaller server rooms or areas with the limited thermal load. These are meant for public spaces and not really designed for server rooms. As a result, they lack a humidifier.

Ceiling mounted air conditioners

These are designed for server rooms. However, they are limited to thermal capacity and can handle loads of up to 40Kw. Placement of these units is critical for servicing and to avoid any chance of liquid dripping onto equipment.

In-row cooling

These units, used in conjunction with hot aisle containment are purpose-built for server room rack units. These are extremely efficient and do not require raised floors or any other special data center setup. They can even be purchased in ready made sets.

_____________________________________________________

MovinCool.com provide industrial and computer cooling solutions.

Setting up a wireless network

For home and small offices, getting specialist engineers to do a site survey is both expensive and excessive. If you want to follow a similar process as the professionals, follow the four-step process below to assess, test and adjust your wireless network for optimum performance:

Investigate

In this step determine the type of connection you have, if can you use third party routers, and if you can move the location of the router. Also, note if it’s possible to run a cable from the router to any other equipment, if not wireless extenders are the only option. Make a note of the requirements, such as the number of people who will use the network and from where in the building.

Plan

Use a rough floor plan along with the data from step one to map out where you need to install additional access points. When looking at the radius of the coverage from each router/access point, look at the specifications of the device and assume half that number. That number will account for obstruction and walls on the strength of the signal.

Test

For this step, you will need at least a single access point in addition to the router. Place the access point according to the plan in step two. Test the speed from each location against a baseline from the router or close to it.

Adjust

Based on the results from Step three, move the access point and router around for the best coverage. Be prepared for some compromises or the need for more access points for certain areas.

How to detect malware or suspicious software on your computer

The software we install on our computers is one of the biggest potential security risks. Even known software can be altered to transmit our data in the background. There are reports of hackers inserting malware into legitimate software downloads available online. Often, even the vendor does not realize that the legitimate download is spreading malware. Here are a few ways to detect any suspicious activity:

Almost every application on a modern computer will make outbound connections to the internet. Most of these connections are for updates, licensing etc. However, using applications like NetLimiter on Windows and Little Snitch on OS X, you can keep an eye on what connections are made from which apps.

Another common activity of suspicious software is to set itself to run on startup after the installation is complete. Malware does the same thing, except hidden in some obscure corner of the hard drive. Applications like BlockBlock on OS X will block and alert you when an application attempts to set itself to run on startup.

Do not plug in any unknown devices to your USB port. If a file transfer is required from an unknown USB key, ask them to email it instead. Do not allow anyone to charge devices on a laptop, even e-cigarettes have been known to carry Malware that installs when charging on a computer. Any charging should be done directly off a wall charger. The easiest way is to tell people that there is something wrong with the USB ports.

The opportunity benefits of EDI

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

Going ahead with an EDI implementation has many benefits. There are the strategic benefits such being able to adopt new business processes. Then there are the operational benefits such as cost reduction, elimination of human error and improved cash flow. One aspect that is often not given prominence are the opportunity benefits that EDI services can provide.

There are two primary opportunity benefits: Enhanced image and competitive edge.

Most organizations have to deal with customers one way or another. These customers can be end users and consumers or other businesses. Often customer service affects how the business is seen. The product can be robust, but if the customer service is sub-par then the company image suffers. This is where using an EDI provider comes in. It provides customer service agents or staff the ability, in real-time, to see the current state of an order. This allows them to provide the customer with an accurate estimation of completion.

Competitive edge follows a similar concept. Both the strategic and operational benefits of EDI directly affect the ability of the company to respond to market changes. Potential customers can be won over with the lower costs, accurate delivery estimates, and faster order completion. This competitive edge extends to all parts of the company: customer service, sales, marketing, and management.

______________________________________________

Act Data is an internet EDI provider for retail and supplier environments.