A starting point for finding out more about potential web hosters

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To find out how your current web hosting company is doing, enter their domain name in the search box at http://www.webhosting.info/webhosts/search/.


OLM.NET, a company I used many years ago, but eventually left because of quality of service issues, right now fares like this:


From there, I moved on to OneOnOneInternet.com, who provided pretty good service to me until they were bought out by a larger competitor, which eventually resulted in major quality of service issues:

 As  a result, I switched my sites to 1&1 Internet:

WildWestDomains.com, an affiliate of Internet powerhouse GoDaddy was another provider I had considered switching to when it was time to part ways with OneOnOneInternet.com:

While the above graphs are mere snapshots of a five-week period, they can serve as an early warning sign in case something is up at the hosting company.

Smart Ways to Save

From the 19 January 2003 issue of Parade Magazine:

  • DO have an emergency account big enough to cover your core expenses for three months.
  • DON’T buy in repose to unsolicited sales pitches. “You might not go to a store to get  new down jacket, but it looks compelling on your computer screen with an offer of free shipping,” says financial adviser Deena Katz.
  • DO use your own bank’s ATMs. Paying an extra $1.50 a day for using a “foreign” ATM adds up to more than $500 a year.
  • DON’T put off paying your credit-card bills! In 200, late fees accounted for almost one-third of credit-card issuers’ profits.
  • DO save for retirement through automatic payroll deductions — and add half o every raise and bonus to your savings. It’s almost painless.
  • DON’T make impulse purchases. “Wait a day or two,” says J. Jay Hurford, a financial planner. “If it still seems important, then buy it.”
  • DO opt out of unsolicited preapproved credit offers by calling the Credit Reporting  Industry (+1-888-567-8688). “Themore credit people have, the more they’re tempted to use it,” says Hurford.

10 year anniversary of the paper-alternative to the aluminum soda can

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the invention of a carbonated soft drink can made of paper. British scientist Richard Freeman and his colleagues at Scientific Generics in Cambridge used four thin layers of cardboard with seems rotated by at least 90 degrees out of phase.

This was reported by CNN on 19 August 1998.

Does anybody have an update as to its success (or lack thereof) in other countries?

Be careful what you eat and drink from after having run the container through the dishwasher

In an article called “Harzards of Hydration”, Sierra Magazine in its November/December 2003 issue discussed surprise results during a 1998 animal study by geneticist Dr. Patricia Hunt at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Apparently aggressive cleaners, such as those used in dish washers, are capable of releasing bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical mimicking estrogen, from polycarbonate plastic bottles and containers. Typically these are labeled #7 on the bottom; Nalgene is one of the best-known producers.

The article points out “that endocrine disrupters like BPA can impair the reproductive organs … reduce sperm counts … and bring about changes in tissue that resemble early-stage breast cancer, among other effects.”

Hunt explains that “the [plastics] industry says this is just rodent studies, but we know that the human egg is more fragile than the mouse egg. if we wait for really hard evidence in humans, it will be too late.”

Safe alternatives, according to Hunt, are polypropylene (#5 PP), high density polyethylene (#2 HDPE) and low density polyethylene (#4 LDPE). Reusing “single use” plastic bottles and containers made of polyethylene terephtalate (#1 PET or PETE) is discouraged.

On the other hand, switching to glass or lightweight stainless steel containers would avoid plastics altogether.

To find out more about endocrine disrupters, take a look at “Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? — A Scientific Detective Story” by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski and John Peter Meyers:

Phone numbers to report scams and gouging in Florida

In the aftermath of hurricane Charley, the St. Petersburg Times on 17 August 2004 published a list of numbers to call:

  • Florida Attorney General’s office price gouging hotline: (800) 646-0444
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and consumer services: (800) 435-7352
  • Construction Industry Licensing Board: (904) 727-6530

While in 1992 in the wake of hurricane Andrew, it took two weeks to top 1,000 complaints, it took only days for this amount to amass after hurricane Charley in 2004.

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

In early 2005, Computerworld featured an introduction to this model in its QuickStudies.

To find out more about CMMI, click on the image below.

Image of CMMI's five levels of maturity

To keep tabs on the uptime / availability of your website

If you would like to keep an eye on the quality of service provided by your web hosting company, particularly if your website is up / available or down, consider using the services of a web monitoring company.

One such company, offering its services for free for a single URL (e. g. your home page), is Monitis.

If you are satisfied with their product, they also offer paid subscriptions which enable you monitor multiple pages and/or points of interest of your site.

Challenge and nurture your brain to keep it healthy

In a Health & Medicine article in the March 13, 2005 issue of the St. Petersburg Times, Stephen Nohlgren points out that “if you are reading this story right side up, you may be missing the boat.”

Read the rest of this entry »