Do not add social widgets to your website

  • Social widgets create visual noise and distract user’s attention from content
  • Social widgets slow down the page load and consumes some user’s internet bandwidth
  • Social widgets is used by small amount of users and there is no need to show them for everyone; Users can share the page on social network by copying url-address and pasting it to the social network’s page
  • If you add a script element to the DOM before the window’s load event fires, that event will be delayed until the newly added script is downloaded, parsed, and run. Google search ranking algorithms take page load times into account, and those page load times are based on the load event. From “Stop Copying Social Code Snippets” by Philip Walton, Engineer at Google

Links:

PHP MVC Framework

CodeIgniter MVC PHP framework

One of the best PHP MVC framework is CodeIgniter. It is easy to configure, fast and extensible. You will be amazed how intuitive and powerful it is.

About CodeIgniter:

  • Free – Open Source
  • Easy to start – Minimal learning curve
  • Light-weight and fast MVC PHP framework – Small footprint
  • Great performance
  • Clear awesome documentation – You don’t need books with such documentation
  • Very extensible – No need to hack the core

Popularity of CodeIgniter:

Because CodeIgniter is faster, lighter and the least like a framework.
Rasmus Lerdorf (the creator of PHP) about CodeIgniter

I found CodeIgniter the lightest framework out there and it doesn’t impose too many restrictions.
Rasmus Lerdorf (the creator of PHP) about CodeIgniter

Laptop comparison

Good:

  • Asus – Good value for its price
  • Dell – Good value for its price

Bad:

  • Apple – Overpriced
  • HP – Overpriced for medium quality
  • Toshiba – Overpriced and bad support
  • Fujitsu – Overpriced
  • Lenovo – Overpriced
  • Acer – Bad quality

Chromebook

http://www.google.com/chromebook/

Good alternative for a regular laptop is a chromebook.

It will be a good choice if you need laptop mostly for internet.

Its pretty cheap and has good value for its price.

Online Trends

Google Trends

Google Trends can show you the popularity of certain search queries via chart over time what can help you to understand the different trends. You can sort data by country, time, category and type of search.

Online Advertising

Online advertising (also called online marketing or Internet advertising or web advertising) is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. It includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, many types of display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising. Like other advertising media, online advertising frequently involves both a publisher, who integrates advertisements into its online content, and an advertiser, who provides the advertisements to be displayed on the publisher’s content.

Global ad spending is expected to reach $600 billion US by the end of next year, according to eMarketer, and grow at an annual rate of about five per cent until the end of the decade. Much of that growth is being fuelled by digital advertising, particularly on mobile devices.

According to a report by PageFair and Adobe, more than 200 million people worldwide have downloaded software that can block virtually all online advertising. But on the other hand if the ads hadn’t already become so intrusive there wouldn’t be much demand for ad blockers.

The number of people blocking ads increased by more than 40 per cent last year, and it is estimated that blocking cost cash-starved publishers more than $22 billion last year.

People don’t mind a subtle add or two but many web pages are so clogged with them that users have no other option then to run ad-blockers.

Relevant and not intrusive ad is a content too.

Examples of the bad ads:

  • Native advertising – ads that pretend to be a regular content
  • Popup
  • Popunder
  • Tricking people with ads that looks like menu items or download buttons
  • Autoplay ads with video and sound
  • Waiting while ad is shown with certain timeout and user is not able to turn it off

Descriptions of the good ad:

  • Ad should be labeled as ad
  • Ad should be relevant
  • Ad should not be intrusive or annoying

Does watching 30 seconds ad video before 10 seconds content video worth it?

Many people think that if they see ads on website – then the product is cheap.

A lot of people think that they pay for internet and they should not see ads at all.

Being online is like driving a car (though far less linear experience). That being so, online ads should feel like sign posts or billboards: it appears briefly in your peripheral vision as you pass, yet you register the message upon it effortlessly. Ads online need to feel this way.

People aren’t diametrically opposed to ads – they’re opposed to obtrusive ads. They’re opposed to YouTube ads longer than the video you’re trying to watch, or full-screen pop ups taking over, or 4 different buttons labelled “download” and only one of them real.

Majority of the internet is built on advertising. That’s how content providers get paid. There are many site that’s take it beyond usable but if people block them, advertisers will be force to become more intrusive. No advertising, no content.

 

Links:

Planned Obsolescence

In the late 1890’s, a manufacturing plant called Shelby Electric Company based in Shelby, Ohio, produced a 4 watt lightbulb with one main goal in mind. Sustainability. They wanted to make the perfect lightbulb. A lightbulb that would last forever. They wanted to share this with the world. It’s called the Centennial Light. It currently resides in a fire department in Livermore, California and the bulb is still fully functional and still shining. The irony is that it has outlasted all of the lightbulbs in the department as well as several webcams. How is this possible? Surely as technology increases we would have lightbulbs that lasted forever! Why do some only last a couple thousand hours? During the rise of the 20th century, lightbulb manufacturers were beginning to stagnate. No one was buying lightbulbs because the ones they previously bought were still working and there wasn’t a need to buy anymore. The manufacturers had to come up with something to protect their businesses and to keep selling more. In December of 1924, Philips, General Electric, Osram, and others got together and created the Phoebus cartel. It stated that lightbulbs had to have a maximum lifespan in order to ensure repeat business. Lightbulbs that were claimed to last forever were now reduced to 1,000 hours. The manufacturers had to devise a way to make their products weaker. They had to make sure they would break or die after a certain point. This was the beginning of Planned Obsolescence.

Since the Great Depression and the rise of consumerism, planned obsolescence was part of every business model. They had to have it in order to survive. All products even to this day have some form of planned obsolescence attached. In the classic of Death of a SalesmanWilly says, “Once in my life I would like to own something outright before it’s broken! I’m always in a race with the junkyard! I just finished paying for the car and it’s on its last legs. The refrigerator consumes belts like a goddam maniac. They time those things. They time them so when you finally paid for them, they’re used up.” Just a perfect example of planned obsolescence.

ipods-unreplaceable-battery-lasts-only-18-months

In 2001, Apple released their first iPod. A couple years later, a class action lawsuitwas filed against the company over its batteries. They only lasted a short while and the batteries were ‘unreplaceable’. The Neistat brothers were told when they called customer service that they should just buy a new iPod and that they wouldn’t replace the batteries in them. They launched a campaign called “iPod’s dirty secret” and spray painted on billboards, “iPod’s Unreplaceable Battery Lasts Only 18 Months” with a stencil. Apple had caved in and settled the case and were forced to give rebates and provide warranties for their products. Is this the beginning of the end of planned obsolescence?

Next time, look around at the products you have. Everything you may have may actually have a lifespan and are probably not the best, efficient or sustainable of products.

 

Economic rule: “Nothing produced can be allowed to maintain a lifespan longer than what can be endured in order to continue cyclical consumption.”

Examples of planned obsolescence:

  • Ipod’s unreplaceble battery lasts only 18 months;
  • Amazon Kindle unreplaceble battery starts to uncharge fast with low temperature;

Economy = economize? (to avoid waste, to conserve)

“The best possible goods at the lowest possible prices.”
Cost efficiency creates intrinsic obsolescence.

Product sustainability is inverse to economic growth.

Efficiency, sustainability and preservation are the enemies of our economic system.

The EESC calls for a total ban on planned obsolescence

For the first time, an EU institution is looking into the positive aspects of a total ban on planned obsolescence: more jobs, better consumer protection and a boost to sustainable development. The EESC has today issued an opinion on product lifetimes and consumer information to combat the business strategy of obsolescence.

Bulbs that burn out after a certain time, batteries that run out within a set period or clothes that quickly fall out of fashion are just a few examples of planned obsolescence – products that are designed to stop working within two or three years of their purchase, shortly after the expiry of their guarantee. Replacing these products means using up additional energy and resources, which generates more waste and harmful pollution.

Jobs at stake

Nowadays, obsolescence brings little if any advantage in terms of jobs. “Most of these products are manufactured outside Europe, by underpaid workers,” points out Mr Haber, the opinion’s co-rapporteur and a member of the EESC’s Consultative Commission on Industrial Change. “If we threw away less, we would have to repair more, creating thousands of jobs closer to home.”

Obsolescence is not always down to wear and tear. By its very nature, the fashion industry, for example, is built around consumer demand for new and different styles not the durability of individual garments. But even here, turnover is becoming faster and new models are often designed to make their predecessors look ugly or out-of-date.

In terms of concrete action, the EESC plans to organise a major European Round Table in 2014 involving all the relevant actors and covering all sectors including industry, distribution, finance, consumer associations and trade unions. The event will also include an open forum to allow EU citizens to express their own views.

Learn to mend

Mr Haber has encountered numerous products that are designed to stop working within two or three years of their purchase – shortly after the expiry of their guarantee. Replacing them means using up additional energy and resources and this generates more waste and harmful pollution. This has already incited consumers in several countries to take action.

The EESC would like to see a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to end the product’s life,” explains Mr Libaert, the opinion’s rapporteur and a member of the EESC. He wants companies to make goods easier to repair through the supply of replacement parts, for example. And consumers should also be given better information about a product’s estimated life expectancy to allow them to make more informed purchasing decisions.

Ideally, the Committee proposes a labelling system that would guarantee a minimum product lifetime – at present this is not a legal requirement. “Companies need to do a lot of research to guarantee the lifetime of a product and at present they do not do enough,” Mr Haber observes. Furthermore, manufacturers should also cover the cost of recycling if their goods have an expected lifetime of less than five years.

Reasons for action

From an environmental perspective, Europe’s consumption of natural resources has increased by some 50 % over the last 30 years: we consume 43 kg of resources per person per day, compared with just 10 kg per person in Africa. In social terms, the rapid disposability of consumer goods has encouraged purchasing on credit, leading to unprecedented levels of personal debt.

Damage to public health is not only caused by local waste disposal and incineration but also by the practice of exporting waste, sometimes illegally, to developing countries that have less stringent regulations. Culturally, perceptions of in-built obsolescence are eroding consumer trust in industry. Lastly, Europe’s economy is being undermined by imports of products with a short lifetime. “By tackling this issue, the EU would be offering its companies a way of standing out from its competitors by effectively putting sustainability into practice.”

“Our purpose is to help improve confidence in our European businesses,” concludes Mr Libaert. But at the same time, the EESC wants to drive the EU towards an economic transition “from a wasteful society to one that is sustainable, where growth is geared towards consumer needs – with a people-oriented approach – and is not an end in itself.”

Links:

Open Source

Open Source Freedoms:

  1. freedom to use
  2. freedom to modify
  3. freedom to share
  4. freedom to share your changes

So that means that you may use Open-source software and submit your updates to it. And you may fork it and change something different if you need to.

What can you get from Open Source Projects?

  • Valuable experience
  • Community – a lot of people can give you a feedback and variety of ideas. Open Source projects are transformed to something different.
  • Security – Open Source Projects are secure because of a lot of contributors and a lot of users

Links:

Microsoft Office Alternatives

LibreOffice – https://www.libreoffice.org/

LibreOffice is a perfect alternative of Microsoft Office Suite.

  • Free
  • Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • It can open, edit and save as multiple file formats (including Microsoft Office .doc and .docx formats)

LibreOffice includes these tools:

  • Text Document – alternative for Microsoft Word
  • Spreadsheet – alternative for Microsoft Excel
  • Presentation – alternative for Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Database – alternative for Microsoft Access

Google Docs – https://drive.google.com/

  • Free
  • Online based – all documents saved in your Google Drive storage
  • It can open, edit and save as multiple file formats (including Microsoft Office .doc and .docx formats)

Google Docs includes these tools:

  • Google Docs – alternative for Microsoft Word
  • Google Sheets – alternative for Microsoft Excel
  • Google Slides – alternative for Microsoft PowerPoint