Cloud Computing

I am not an advocate of Cloud Computing. Period!

Call me old school, but I think it is nuts for a company to put their entire business in someone else’s control and location.
Hacking is one great reason not to do it and vulnerability is another.

It was announced that Cloudflare has a security bug that has now affected users on well over 1000 websites including the company I use to host my website and blog. Makes me want to vomit.

Internet security and viability is a joke right now. Your company data is not safe.

If a Cloud company goes out of business, so do you!

One other factor is the pathetic state of the power grid. With your information in-house, you are only affected if your part of the grid goes down. If your information is across the country on some cloud server, you have no way to retrieve your data.

Cloud Computing is a nightmare.  Change your passwords NOW! Rethink your use of the clouds!

The Internet can be Cool!

I have been on the Internet since the first week it went public. I had the 7th web site that went live. The potential of the technology fascinated me and I wanted to get in on the ground floor.

Over the years, I have designed about twenty different websites for things I was doing and well over 250 sites for customers. I do simple designs that are great for most businesses, especially those who don’t need e-commerce. Along the way, I have had several sites that garnered interest, but none more than one I called “The Cemetery Shop.”  The original intent of the site was to provide a place for people to ask questions about funerals and burials, without having to consult a funeral director.

The site dribbled on for several months and I helped some folks. But it wasn’t a lot of activity. Then one day the Clinton’s let their dog run loose and it got hit by a truck. I wrote an obituary for Buddy and the site popped hundreds of hits over night. Around the same time, the first Iraq mess started and the zoo got bombed and the lion got killed. I wrote an obituary for the Lion and that popped thousands of hits to my site. I sat back in pure wonderment and said, “I wonder what would happen if I did an obituary for a famous person?”

Within a few days, Milton Berle died, so I wrote a full blown obituary and added a picture. The site went nuts! Thank you Uncle Milty! So when the next celebrity died, I added that person and thousands of additional hits. I ran the site from 2000 to 2003 and when I closed it, I had over 4.5 Million Unique visitors a year, the site had been written up in several newspapers and magazines, and some of my obituaries had been read at the celebrity funeral service. I also got to know some celebrities and both George Carlin and Rodney Dangerfield were contributors to other sections on the site.

Social Media has far eclipsed the impact my site may have had. Celebrities either Facebook or Twitter and that gives their fans at least an impression of access. I tweeted to lots of people while on Twitter, some of them from the old days at The Cemetery Shop. It was cool to catch up a little and keep track. I stopped Tweeting when I started this blog, so hopefully a new audience will be garnered. I found out just a few days ago, that a son of my friend in London is an actor there. His name is Christopher Keddie and he has  some credits in the U.K. and I think he could do well here in America too. Directors and Producers, take a look!

Celebrities aren’t the only people you can meet on the net, I have corresponded with writers, politicians, athletes, and even some of the top scientists and tech minds in the world. I know people on all continents and dozens of countries,

How Cool !

Music and the Internet

After Pornography and this year’s election cycle, I can’t think of a topic that generates more controversy than music on the Internet. While I am not a composer, my older brother is so I learned the in’s and out’s of Copyright a long time ago. When I started writing, I found out generally the same rules applied to my writing creations. Barring fair use provisions, with proper citation, you should ask me permission before copying any of my writing for use somewhere else.

Let’s get back to music. Tradition held for a while that some of the major music download sites existed under the vague gray area veil of “Fair Use”. While that lasted for a while, the major organizations that protect artists finally got irritated enough to let lawsuits fly. They managed to take down a couple of large file sharing sites, but at the same time they managed to tick off a lot of music fans.

I’m old enough to remember when Radio Stations and record shops were the only two real sources of music unless you went to a concert. So, if you wanted a free copy of anything, you had to copy someone else’s record or tape or try to make a recording off the radio. Luckily, I had a radio with a built in cassette recorder, so a simple push of the record button and I was in business. I not only recorded music, I recorded some of the old radio shows being broadcasted and many of the “Larry King” interviews when he had his late night show on the “Mutual Broadcasting System.”

Fast forward to the Internet. When designing web sites, I often get requests to add music to sites. I have to explain, to legally do this requires more hoops than it is worth to jump through, unless they have produced their own original music production and not just done a “cover” of someone else’s copyrighted work. While this breaks some of the enthusiasm, it saves both the client and I a truck load of hassle.

Now all this being said, if you really want to include music in your site, you can do it illegally, or you can check YOUTUBE and see if something is there in Video/Music and either link to it or EMBED it in your site. Understand! This is illegal too, but if you want to take the risk, then you can give it a shot. One technical problem you will encounter with this is of YOUTUBE Zaps that particular video; you end up with a dead link or a lousy looking dead embed box on your site.

Keep something else in mind, if you place music directly on your site in a sound file, that adds a huge load to the file size. Video is even worse. So, if you do want to add these things to your site, host them somewhere else and link to them or embed them. That way the bandwidth load goes against the other site and not yours. If you read my article about YouTube you will see where I linked to several files. I could have also embedded any of them in the blog.

Making Money on the Internet

Like many people, I wanted to find out exactly what are the current ways to make money on the Internet being touted by many of the other bloggers. Here are the results of my search.

Surveys – Surveys are a great way to waste a horrific amount of time and make little money. You will see all sorts of ads proclaiming huge amounts like $30 to $50 per survey. It’s all hype. The best I found after trying many companies was $1.50. That company was selective on their participants and you could not cash out until you earned $25.00. For the average person, hell would freeze over before you saw any of your cash.

Writing – While there are some decent ways to get writing gigs on the net, for most people you will be trapped by companies who offer from .01 to .05 cents a word. You can only write on specific topics and if you don’t get rejected you might actually end up making a few bucks for your article. Problem is like the Surveys, you have to wait for a cash payout at anywhere from $25,00 to $50,00 and I have seen multiple complaints where writers finally made it to the payout, only to be banned from the site and their money disappearing in the wind.

Selling Photography – I tried this with one of the major companies. I wasn’t too thrilled about having to give them a copy of my Driver License, but I choked back my dread of Identity Theft and sent them the license. I then uploaded 12 files to see what would happen. 6 of the photos were rejected for being blurry at full size. 2 were rejected as having “no commercial appeal”, 1 was rejected because they claimed I had done post production editing on it, which was not true and 3 were accepted. It was a lot of effort for success on three photos. I deleted everything I could and then I wrote them and told them to close my account.

Doing Tasks – Do a quick task for someone and make $5! Or a whole lot less on some of the more heavily promoted sites. If you are lucky, you’ll make a nickel, a dime, maybe a whole quarter! Then you run into the same issue as everything above, the payout level. How many 5 cent tasks does it take to reach $20.00. Even if the payout level is less than that you are competing against 1000 other people and all of these sites use activity grading. You do more tasks and you get a better chance at the tasks against the new people who have just signed up.

Freelancing – Yes, you can go find freelance jobs on the net, but most of the better sites charge everyone for joining now. Then once in their system you run into the same issues as you found trying to do tasks. 1000 people all trying to get the same contracts. Unless you have a really specialized skill, get ready to spend hours bidding on jobs. Some sites even charge you to place those bids. So you can end up with a lot of cash outlay for very few results.

Reseller/Affiliate – Of all the things I have found, reselling has some viability, if the product is good and you get a really good commission selling it. You still deal with Payout issues, but those tend not to be as painful as some of the other options. to do this properly, you need a website or a blog. Then you sign up for whatever plan. Don’t have a website or a blog, I can build you one for a fee.

All of these methods to make money have one additional component. You can make additional money signing others up. that’s the only reason you see so many websites promoting working online. If you sign up through them, they make something off of your signup. It’s not because they want to see your bank account rise.