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Comment EULA (Score 2) 666

OK start with the Red Hat License agreement. Have any of you read it? In a nutshell, it says that anywhere you run Red Hat on a server it requires purchase of a subscription. And you can't buy a workstation subscription for a server, it has to be a server subscription. Subscriptions are based on 'sockets', which means CPU in real terms.

A 2 socket RHEL license costs $349/year on the 'self-support' model, and a 4 socket license costs $1,598 per year for standard subscription. Compare that to Windows Server 2008. The cost is $722.99 on CDW right now for W2K8R2 Standard. BUT, that's a one-time cost. And you get patches for free, regardless if you have a support contract or not. Figure that a Windows Server version may be supported for 10 years or more (2003 will run through 2015.)

Red Hat: $350 per year for 12 years = $4,200
Windows Server: $722 total, for 12 years = $722

That ends up costing you six times as much in license and support to run RHEL. Extrapolate that across hundreds of servers, and it becomes a monstrous expense. 500 servers = $174,500 per year. And yes, I assume you are going to re-buy a license for the new Windows Server one or two revs into the future.

THIS is exactly why we are not using RHEL in a highly compliance-oriented industry, and why we elected to go with CentOS. In the end we're going to be doing the support ourselves anyway, and Red Hat's cost structure is outrageous for what you get.

Comment Don't get a false sense of privacy here... (Score 2) 352

Wiping your cookies, adblock, flashblock, etc - it's all worthless.

Even if you remove all cookies, the iframe that is the 'like' button will set a new cookie. Facebook tracks these new 'anonymous' cookies centrally, and then when you DO login to your actual account, they can read this cookie and marry up your previous behavioral habits and sites you visited. The advice here leads people to believe you can fight this simply by erasing cookies. The only way to really make that effective is:

1) Log out of Facebook
2) Remove all Facebook cookies
3) Browse around to other sites
4) Clear all Facebook cookies AGAIN
5) Log in to Facebook

Without step #4 the rest of it is not doing you any good.

The same is true of new signups, where your browsing history (before you even had an account!) is correlated to the new account to help build a profile of your activity.

Comment You want good outbound email? (Score 2) 71

All I have to say is

I have no relationship to them other than a happy customer, but it took me WEEKS of effort to find a good mail relay from the cloud that could hit the inbox of all of the major e-mail providers (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) They do it every time and for very little.

Comment Re:What might this look like? (Score 1) 158

It sounds like you are interested in something more along the lines of batches of data and not a realtime API.

Banks / Credit Unions / FIs do this now to send transactions between their own networks. I'm not aware of a consumer-oriented version of this, but that's not to say it shouldn't exist. PayPal is starting to move that direction with their API. But you are going to be hit with more charges routing through PayPal than you would otherwise.

Comment Re:What might this look like? (Score 1) 158

OK, but that's talking about a few things -

* A solid and modern online banking application
* Easily understood fee structures
* Home/mobile capture
* One time credit card purchasing

This is great from the perspective of a single 'end customer', but what I am getting at is more of an API that allows developers to tap in to certain types of information that might be stored at a financial institution. What type of APIs would be available, and what would be the use cases for each of them?

Comment What might this look like? (Score 3, Interesting) 158

I'll state at a high level that I work for a Credit Union, and there are a lot of us that believe in a model such as the one you are describing. Can I take this discussion in a slightly different direction? Rather than "where can I get this today", how about "what would you want from a service like this"? Reply with a list of features and describe the problem you are trying to solve.

Do you want to only access your own account, or offer a service to multiple customers of the financial institution?
Are you thinking along the lines of web services?
What type of transactions would you want - realtime (i.e. what's my account balance now) or batch (show me all transactions for the last 6 months)?
Are you talking about wire transfers, ACH, checks, etc?
Are you thinking a pull model, where you query into the data or a push model, where you are alerted when things happen?

Don't get dragged down in any pricing or cost at this point - just tell me in more detail what you want.


Submission + - The New Game of Search Engine Optimization

Brandon Hall writes: "Search engine optimization strategies are constantly changing. What worked today, will not work tomorrow and what worked last year stopped working 6 months ago. Sadly enough, some companies are still teaching people to stuff keywords in their meta tags and to do link exchanges with other webmasters. Excuse me, while I throw up. Aside: These are same companies referred to in a previous post. Here's an example:

I read a forum post from a guy the other day who was bragging that he had been out charging people $5000 a pop to help their search engine rankings. Yet, he was asking how to get a script working. Wouldn't you think he would know how to install a script properly if he was really that familiar with search engines, linking, article syndication and the several other things he boasted about? What a loser! Come to think of it, he was probably full of crap anyway.

SEO is changing. Make your sites for your visitors and not for the search engines. Period. It's amazing what happens to your organic traffic when you stop focusing on keywords and worry about visitor value. I've outlined some best practices for the New Game of SEO below. Basics For The New Game Of SEO
  1. A static HTML site is a complete waste of time. The only reason I can even see having a static site anymore is if you have a web store. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. You must be publishing on a dynamic platform such as a blog. If you must have a static site, then use a dynamic site to drive traffic to your static site.
  2. Interactivity is the name of the game. Your visitors are bored surfing normal sites and reading text. Don't get me wrong, the more text; the better, but you have to weave interactivity throughout your content using audio and video. You need to give your visitors a chance to rate your content and provide feedback about your content as well. Bottom line: the more interested your visitor is, the longer they will stay on our site and the more money you will make.
  3. Web 2.0 story syndication. Remember, back in the old days when syndicating your articles was the "key to success." Using an article distribution service, you could get backlinks that would help your site in PageRank and the SERP's (search engine ranking pages). Those days are long gone. The New Game of SEO requires you to distribute your articles through new venues. Sites like Digg, Netscape, and Reddit.
  4. Driving traffic with video syndication. Pop Quiz: Did you know you can use tags (keywords) in the videos you upload to YouTube and Google? Opportunities abound in this arena. Most people are not doing this. Unless you're in a competitive market, I promise you that people are not using these sites to syndicate video content. Go where the traffic is and right now the traffic is at the video sites.
I'll tell you a secret. We all know there are two forms of SEO: On-page and Off-page. The only On-page SEO that matters anymore are your meta title and your meta description tags. That's it! Don't ever let anybody tell you differently. Keyword named pages and keyword density died a few Google updates ago."

Submission + - New Radiation Treatment Drug Reduces Risk

eldavojohn writes: "A new drug developed is showing promising signs of reducing the risk of radiation death by almost 2/3. 5-androstenediol (AED), an adrenal gland hormone that stimulates marrow-cell growth will hopefully be something to use in emergency cases or in situations with a potential 'dirty bomb' to mitigate the amount of lives lost. From the article, "Amid growing fears of terrorist attacks with radioactive materials, the US government plans to award a contract for the treatment for acute radiation syndrome later this month under its revamped BioShield fund for civilian defences against chemical, biological and nuclear threats." An example of a capitalistic market at its finest or a result of over zealous terrorist fears?"

Feed Apple April Event: Expect Product (

It could be a coming-out party for Mac OS X Leopard and who knows what else. Help us guess what might be rolling out on April 15. Plus: Stylin' with neon iPod headphones. In Cult of Mac.

Feed WordPress Security Alert (

If you downloaded WordPress version 2.1.1 within the last week, upgrade to 2.1.2 right now to avoid exploitable code inserted by a cracker. Plus: We try out Opera's spill-proof OLPC. In Monkey Bites.


Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop? 528

An anonymous reader writes "RDM asks Can Apple Take Microsoft on the Desktop?, a comparison of recent sales and profits and the future outlook for Macs and PCs. It's the opinion of the article's author that Apple doesn't have to take a majority share of the desktop market to win. The key is to take the most valuable segments of the market. They show via a few quick financial numbers that even though Apple is selling fewer machines, they're making more money per machine than your Dells or your Gateways. Not being beholden to Microsoft gives them a big advantage when competing with traditional PC sellers. Once Apple is positioned, Microsoft will be forced to choose whether it wants to battle Mac OS X for control of the slick consumer desktop, or repurpose Windows as a cheaper, mass market alternative to Linux in corporate sales. If it doesn't make a choice, the company will face difficult battles on two fronts.""

Submission + - Slashdot FireHose Beta Sneak Preview

Davak writes: "The old fogey slashdot has announced a new (dare I say, Web 2.0) youthful, digg-like voting system-Firehose. This new code is described as a "collaborative system designed to allow users to assist editors in the story selection process." This review of the Firehose describes the new features and implications of this new system. For example, much of Firehose's AJAX eye candy is built around yahoo's ajax toolkit."

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