Archive | September, 2008

Traffic Offence Appeal

26 Sep

After four months plus, here what the Traffic Police wrote:

We have reviewed your case and note that a traffic offence has been disclosed but in view of the circumstances, we have decided to take no further action against you in this instance. However, a warning will be recorded for our future reference.

Double checking the status at Singapore Police Force website, I have no outstanding summons. Yeah I saved $70! If not I will lose $70 because of the $30 Robinson vouchers.

How to write a proper appeal to the authorities?

Note: You can appeal through email to Traffic Police Feedback Unit at email address SPF_Feedback_TP@spf.gov.sg. URA and HDB appeal through their websites at http://www.ura.gov.sg and http://www.hdb.gov.sg respectively.

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Server Load

24 Sep

Server load – just a number?

Well, yes, basically the server load is a number. This number is usually under the x.xx format and can have values starting from 0.00. It expresses how may processes are waiting in the queue to access the processor(s). Of course, this is calculated for a certain period of time and of course, the smaller the number, the better. A high number is often associated with a decrease in the performance of the server.

You can usually find the server load value in the control panel associated with your web hosting account under “Server Status”. There you’ll find listed a server load value. If you refresh the page, you’ll notice that the value changes almost every time. That’s because it’s an instantly calculated value. However, one can notice over a period of time which are the usual values of the server load.

Knowing what the value of the server load is not very important though. Knowing how to interpret the value is what counts. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of debate on how to actually interpret it, even among web hosting company owners.

One thing is sure however: all of them consider a server load of 0.xx as safe. As long as most of the time the server load is under 1.00, you should not notice any problems like your website being slow (unless there are some networking related problems somewhere between your computer and the server).

The uncertainties come when the server load has values over 1.00. Most web hosting company owners apply the following rule: if the server has a single CPU (central processing unit), a server load higher than 1.00 is not good; if the server has two CPUs, a server load over 2.00 is not good and so on.

You have to understand that these are average server loads. All web servers get busy from time to time, either because of an user’s abuse of resources, or because the server makes some backups etc. Usually the tasks requiring lots of resources are programmed by the host to be run during weekends when the traffic is lower so they won’t affect the users much.

Things however are not as black and white as you might think by now. With the powerful processors of today even single processor servers might cope quite well with a server load of 2.00.

Also, remember the definition: the server load represents the number of processes waiting to access the CPU. But not all processes are the same! If the processes are low priority, when a new server request (page request) appears, it can still be handled almost instantly. That request will not be postponed at all, it will be dealt with immediately, while the lower priority processes will wait.

As usual, and as many people directly implicated in the hosting business say, it all comes down to real-life behavior. Are the pages loading fast? Does a process such as searching through a database take a reasonable time? Then you don’t really have a problem, whatever the server load is.

Not to mention that the server load is just one factor out of many others (memory usage, CPU usage, size of swap file) and it’s often influenced by them. I’ll give you an example. If the server has insufficient internal memory it will use a swap file. This means it will work intensely with the hard drive, which will increase CPU usage and in turn result in a higher server load which will make the server respond slowly to requests.

In such a case the solution is simple: more internal memory (RAM). That would lead to a lower swap file, lower CPU usage, lower server load, faster response speed. So the server was almost OK, all it needed was more internal memory.

So, the ultimate test is the way that the server behaves. If the server is fast, a number, even if it’s called “server load”, really doesn’t mean much. But then again, I love when I see it constantly at around 0.20.

Personally, if the server load is around 4.00 24/7 and we’re talking about a server with a single processor, I would suspect something is wrong: overselling or overloading. In that case, just to make sure I would never face serious problems, I would ask my host to do something about the server load or move my website to a server with a lower server load. If the response I get does not please me, I will consider looking for a new host.

I like to play it safe and that’s what I recommend you to do too: Play it safe!

Tip from whreviews.com

My SPORE Ape Monster

22 Sep

My SPORE Ape Monster

Perpetual Motion

22 Sep

Perepiteia is purportedly a new kind of generator developed by Thane Heins. It all began back in 1985, when Thane Heins, having studied electronics at Heritage College in Gatineau, Quebec, started thinking about how magnets could be used to improve power generators. Mechanically, the device appears to be an induction motor with a magnetic material placed inside the rotor core. Heins believes that the device’s potential may rest in its atypical manipulation of back EMF.

Other parts: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Critics of the system have pointed out that the system described by Heins simply demonstrates a change in the motor’s hysteresis drag, increasing the speed of the rotor but not producing any energy. In other words, when the rotor exhibits acceleration following a specific electrical short-out, the device is merely more efficiently converting the input electricity to mechanical energy than in the other test configurations.

Sources: Wikipedia, The Star

Transfering Emails

20 Sep

Windows Live Hotmail to Outlook 2007

Hotmail does not offer POP3 access but Microsoft has released a free utility called Microsoft Office Outlook Connector. If you failed the Genuine Microsoft Software check, you can download it at softpedia.com.

Steps:
1. Close Outlook 2007 program.
2. Install Outlook Connector.
3. Open Outlook 2007 program.
4. Add and configure your Hotmail accounts.
5. Restart Outlook 2007 program again.

Google Mail to Outlook 2007 to Google Mail

Steps:
1. Enable IMAP from Gmail settings. Unlike POP, IMAP offers two-way communication between your web Gmail and your email client(s).
2. Open Outlook 2007 program.
3. Manually configure your account.
4. Choose account type: IMAP.
5. Incoming Mail server: imap.gmail.com / port: 993 / encrypted: SSL.
6. Outgoing Mail server: smtp.gmail.com / port: 465 or 587 / encrypted: TLS.
7. Tick “Secure Password Authentication (SPA).
8. Set Outgoing server same as incoming mail server.

Details here.

Yahoo Mail to Outlook 2007

Some people managed to transfer their mails using YPOPs! Since Yahoo is charging pop3 through their Yahoo! Mail Plus, they decided to changes their settings and this tool doesn’t seem to work anymore. You should boycott Yahoo Mail!

 

Free Domain Subscriptions Every Year?

16 Sep

Last week, I had said that I will not renew SungaiBuloh.Com and SingaporeFormula1GrandPrix.Com subscriptions. I may change my mind as I had found a way to monetize these 2 domains.

The main reason for not renewing their subscriptions is that I do not have time to manage them as I had 7 domains I need to work on. Furthermore I do not think these domain names are worth to keep. Unfortunately Sedo.Com proved me wrong!

How To Get Free Domain Subscription Every Year?

After I parked these domains at Sedo, I noticed that SungaiBuloh.Com can generate 0.10 pound sterling (1 British pound = 1.7883 U.S. dollars) per day. It will take about 3 months to generate at least USD$10. By that time, I can use this money to renew the subscription without using my other blogs’ earnings. Every year I will have USD$40 if I keep this domain at Sedo!

Currently I got a problem. I got an offer from EliteInvestment.Net asking me to name my price for SungaiBuloh.Com. Should I sell this domain? How much should I ask them?

ValueClick’s Postcard

15 Sep

Today when I open my real mailbox, I almost throw away the notice regarding the proposed settlement with ValueClick, Inc., Commission Junction, Inc. and Be Free.

At first thought, I guess that the wanted to sue me for putting advertisements on my blogs without making sufficient disclosures.

Notice Regarding: Settlement Recovery Center et al. v. ValueClick, Inc. et al., No. 2:07- cv-02638-FMC-CTx
If you joined or were a member of the affiliate marketing networks operated by ValueClick, Inc., Commission Junction, Inc. and/or Be Free (collectively, “Defendants”), between April 20, 2003 and the present, you may be a class member in Settlement Recovery Center et al. v. ValueClick, Inc. et al., a lawsuit in the Central District of California. The lawsuit alleges that Defendants inadequately monitored Commission Junction’s (“CJ”) Network and failed to make sufficient disclosures to members about software designed to steal or divert publisher commissions and commission theft or “hijacking” by third parties on CJ’s Network. If you are a member of the class, you may have valuable legal rights that will be affected by whether you act or do not act. You should review the Settlement Notice as soon as possible as there are important deadlines that you must meet to take certain actions in connection with this proposed settlement. The deadline for filing an objection or excluding yourself from the proposed settlement is September 30, 2008; if you do not exclude yourself from the class, you will be bound by the settlement’s terms. For further information and a copy of the Settlement Notice, visit http://www.CJSettlement.com.

Since I still do not understand the short notice is all about, I went to the website stated. After reading the FAQ section that I found out two current and former members of the Commission Junction (“CJ”) Network had filed a lawsuit against CJ. CJ have agreed to pay $1,000,000 into a Common Fund. After deducting all expenses, the balance of the Common Fund shall be allocated 70% to the Publishers and 30% to the Advertisers.

I’m not sure I will be getting any compensation from the Publisher Fund as I did not recall getting a cheque from CJ. My 1st account got banned because of click fraud. I forget/can’t access my 2nd CJ login!

The Court will hold a public hearing at the United States District Court on January 5, 2009, at 10 a.m.