Friday, November 30, 2007

What an essential service

If you run an online home business, your files are very precious to you and you cannot afford to lose them in a hard disk crash. Horrors upon horrors should you lose your financial data or even some simple but essential files.

That is why you should know about the service called Tilana Reserve, because it is not enough if you back up your files onto an external hard disk or thumbdrive only every month or so. Tilana Reserve service gives you continuous data protection every minute of the day so that you won't be caught unawares.

More than that, this wonderful online service gives you file synchronization in the computers you use, such as your home desktop, your office computer and your laptop, so that they all have the same information.

To top it all, you can have remote access to all files that are backed up by Tilana Reserve, from any computer with a web browser and Internet connection. You'll be able to work on those files, save changes and upload back to your other computers, which is even better than a remote desktop connection.

And a single Tilana Reserve account may protect a single computer, or protect and synchronize content and data on multiple computers. Wonderful, isn't it?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good to write in simple language

I believe it's good to write in simple language and make your writings easy to understand. Prof. Harry McLaughlin was so flabbergasted with gobbledygook that in 1969 he devised SMOG (Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook).

It is a formula that gives a readability level for written material. Readability is an attempt to match the reading level of written material to the "reading with understanding" level of the reader.

One way to find out the readability level of a text is to use the SMOG calculator developed by Prof. McLaughlin which can be found here.

There are many ways of relating readability levels to adult literacy levels. SMOG and other readability level programs are approximates and they give a measure of the readability and not the reading age of a text.

I recommend a very simple way to establish the readability level of a blog, that is by using this program. Find out what level of education is required to understand your blog. Just fill in the URL of your blog and click submit.

I submitted my blog's URL and this is what comes out:

I'm happy my blog's readability level is Junior High School which means that everyone who has gone through Junior High School can comprehend what I write here.

However, it also depends on what purpose and audience you want your blog to serve. New York Times and CNN sites have readability levels of Junior High School. On the other end, Legal Theory Blog is at genius level of readability. However, Tax Prof Blog is at High School readability level. What is your blog's readability level?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is Google doing the right thing?

Looking at all the comments in the various blogs, such as in Andy Beard's, I find myself really in great company. My PR has also gone down from 3 to 2 and then to 0 because I'm a PayPerPost blogger. But I don't sell Text Link Ads.

The thing is Google is victimising a small segment of bloggers leaving the vast majority unscathed. I'm sure Google hardly touched a small portion of all the 85,000 PayPerPost bloggers.

Anyway, I think Google cannot penalise bloggers by taking away or reducing the PR because it will be making a great mockery of PR which is supposed to measure the importance of the page. Just because there is a paid opinion in the form of a sponsored post and link does not make the blog less important or relevant than if there is a not-sought-after opinion given.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Give Free Rice to the Poor

Let's be happy. Let's digress from brooding over losing Google Page Rank and things of that sort (like I'm a victim from PR3 to PR0) and happily concentrate on doing some charity by playing the FreeRice game.

The interesting game has two aims:
1) Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free
2) Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free through the UN.

This is made possible by the sponsors who advertise on the FreeRice site.

Whether you're a rich high-flying executive or a poor deprived child in a remote Third World country, by improving your vocabulary you open new doors in your life.

More important is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry humans, enabling them to be alive and productive. Somewhere out there in the world, someone is eating rice that you helped provide. Thank you.

After playing FreeRice for a couple of days, you will find that you're using new and more effective words to think, speak and write, which you have not thought of before.

FreeRice has a database of words of varying levels of difficulty, suitable for people first learning English and also those that will challenge scholarly professors. There are also varying levels in-between.

FreeRice automatically adjusts to your level of vocabulary. To start off, it will give you words of varying difficulty, and then based on how you perform, assigns you an approximate starting level. As you go along, you will determine a more exact level.

When you get a word wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three words in a row right, you go to a harder level. This will keep you at the outer fringe of your vocabulary, where learning can take place.

The instructions say there are 50 levels in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 48. Personally, for a start, I can get up to level 38 no problem without a dictionary, donating about 300 grams of rice. You can also use a dictionary but the tricky answers make you not always right.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Smorty, a rewarding small home business

Smorty is a website where I can get paid to blog by advertisers who are keen to advertise on blogs regarding their products or services. I get paid for blogging on the virtues of products or the lack of them. Writing for Smorty can be a rewarding small home business.

I came to know about Smorty through an old friend of mine who had been a Smorty fan for some time and made good money with the program. Using the URL he provided me I applied to join Smorty. Since at that time I already had quite good Google Page Rank, I did not encounter any difficulty.

I find that Smorty has quite a lot of opportunities available for bloggers most of the time and the posts need not be unduly long. Also, the terms of service are flexible and not fraught with stifling artificial rules and regulations.

Basically, Smorty seamlessly connects advertisers with bloggers so that bloggers can write opinion posts with links back to the advertisers' sites. This service is very well run and bloggers get paid promptly without undue delay.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do your part to help the hungry

Would you like to help the poor and hungry people of the world?

Yes, you can do that by playing a little word game. By playing this game you're doing charity. This game is sponsored by the website and for each word you get right, they will donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger.

It's a very interesting game and you can take one minute or two minutes to play it, or you can spend one or two hours playing it, as you like. And all the while doing a good deed.

The rice will be paid for by the advertisers in the website, such as Fujitsu, Macy's, Toshiba, Time/Life, iTunes, Radisson, American Express and others who so sportingly support this concept.

To play the game click here.

The website first started on Oct. 7, 2007 and so it's about a month since. More than one thousand million grains of rice have been donated by players and will go to the poor and hungry. So please do your part. It's fun. I donated 450 grains and will come back and play the game some more later.
Online retailers' most important decision

One of the most important decisions to make when setting up an online store is deciding on the shopping cart software. Of course it has to provide means of customer payments through credit cards, PalPal or direct deposit.

Not only that, the shopping cart has to be user-friendly both to the customer and to the shopkeeper. One such shopping cart software is a hosted one called Ashop Commerce shopping cart. It is so user-friendly that once the initial framework is established, the site can be quickly built.

The remarkable flexibility of the software provided by Ashop Commerce makes it possible to build a uniquely individual site that stands out from the crowd. Not only that, it also provides security, automated confirmations, rapid download and online tracking, among other things for a reasonable monthly fee.

I think the last point I would like to make is that it gives the vital ingredient of help and support as testified in many of the testimonials. All in all, it represents a high-end but cost-effective professional solution for Internet marketers seriously thinking of an online retail business.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Our Planet's Most Gorgeous Bums

The buttocks are called by many names, such as butt, buns, bum, booty, behind, bottoms, ass, arse, or simply backside. They are actually rounded parts of muscle and fat situated on the back of apes, humans and other two-legged animals.

They act as a cushion so that we can sit down without having to support our weight on our arms and legs like other animals.

The buttocks are a butt of jokes since many centuries. They are thought to be awkwardly funny or even hilarious things which are to be mentioned sheepishly. History has it that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales with some jokes about buttocks in about the year 1380.

So you see, buttocks are topical subjects. Of late the underwear designer Sloggi, which has vested interest in buttocks, threw a contest of the bums to pick the world's best bums.

Out of 15,000 who applied online, a total of 43 candidates from 28 countries battled it out at the final in the German city of Munich recently to convince the jury of the quality of their behind.

Kristina Dimitrova, 19, from Bulgaria and Andrei Andrei, 24, from Romania won the women's and men's categories respectively. In this video you can see the champion bums and hear Joanna Partridge reporting for Reuters.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Garage cabinets are indeed useful

Bloggers and Internet lovers normally would spend many hours behind the computer. However, statistics have it that the garage is a huge part of your home that you usually visit at least twice a day for something or other.

Well, if that's so, why don't you keep your garage as tidy as possible and also make really full use of it by installing nice garage cabinets to store kids' toys, computer parts, brooms and rakes, handyman tools, bags, gardening stuff and what-have-you.

You can get a wide choice of practical garage cabinets at

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Expediting Process of Debit Card Withdrawal

This is about using AlRajhi Visa debit card to withdraw from PalPal account in Malaysia.

On Oct. 16th I opened a savings account with AlRajhi Bank and obtained my Visa debit card. As a trial run, the next morning I withdrew US$10 from my PayPal account into my Visa debit card which will go into my savings account.

PayPal deducted US$5 as service fee and credited the remaining US$5 into my Visa debit card. I then received an email to that effect from PayPal.

However, since Oct. 17the until now I have been logging into my savings account on the Internet but seen no sign of money being credited in.

So, on Nov. 1st, that is today, after 16 days, I rang up the Customer Care Consultant at AlRajhi Bank to enquire. Apparently, the transfer process could take up to 30 days. It seems some people are lucky to have their transfer processed within two weeks, but others may have to wait up to 30 days for the managing bank (HSBC) in Hong Kong to process.

The Customer Care Consultant says AlRajhi Bank is negotiating for a faster processing time as a 30-day period is far too long to wait. She says there have been several such cases that she has come across. Well, let's hope the bank will succeed in speeding up the process.