joi, 10 decembrie 2009

Free online presence for Small Businesses using Google Apps and EveryDNS.net

Today I moved my business website hosting to Google Apps.
The great news for me was that Google Apps has a free standard version that allow my company to have 50 email boxes, access to docs, calendar and host my website.

The trickiest thing I had to solve was the lack of DNS hosting, but EveryDNS provides a very good free DNS service.
The DNS problem is this : Google does not have a DNS hosting service (yet). They rely on DNS hosting offered by domain registrars and they give a very good list of reputable DNS registrars.
My domain is a .ro domain that costs 30 USD for life and the registrar does not provides DNS hosting. The situation is similar with other 'cheap' domain registrars and because small business value every cent they are most likely need a free DNS Hosting provider.

EveryDNS url is www.everydns.com .
Google Apps Standard edition may be accessed here : www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html .

Both services are free, so I will never pay for corporate web hosting and groupware anymore ... at least not until my company grows to more than 50 employees.

miercuri, 18 noiembrie 2009

Top e-tailers profitting from billion-dollar Web scam

I found this article on CNET http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10399880-93.html
Considering that on that list there are quite a lot of 'big' names, it makes me think if I should be worried about some Russian/Chinese guys hack my card online or a very respectable retailer like Hertz, Barnes & Noble or Pizza Hut will sell it after I make a purchase from them.

I was pondering if I should get a Nook or the new Kindle the choice is obvious now : Amazon is not on that list.

Here is the 'shame list', the e-tailers tricking their customers and disclosing their credit card numbers to scammers :

1-800-flowers.com
buy.com
classmates.com
Columbia House
Confi-Check
Expedia/hotels.com
Fandango
FTD
Hotwire
InQ
Intelius
MovieTickets.com
Orbitz
Priceline
Redcats USA
Shutterfly
Travelocity
US Airways
VistaPrint
1-800-PetMeds
Adteractiv
Airtran Airways
AllPosters.com
Auto Parts
Avon
Barnes & Noble
Bizrate.com
Bookspan
Boston Apparel Group
BuySeasons/Celebrate
Express
Campusfood.com
Cedant intercompany Agreements
Channel Advisor
Cheap Tickets
Choice Hotels
CollectionsEtc.com
Continental Airlines
Current USA (123 Prints)
Custom Direct
Digital River
Dr. Leonard's
Drugstore
eHarmony
eTix
eToys
Fareportal
FlagranceNet
From You Flowers
FTD Florists Online
Gamestop/EBgames
Gevalia
Haband
Half.com
Hanover Direct
Hertz
HiSpeed Media
Infinity Resources
J.C. Whitney
Joann.com
Lillian Vernon
Live Nation
Marketworks
Miles Kimball
Musicnotes
MyLife.com
Pizza Hut
Potpourri
Restaurants.com
Riverdeep
Shoebuy
Simplexity
Spirit Airlines
Soresource/Americart
Thompson Group
Tiger Direct
TimeLife
True.com
True Credit (True Link)
Upsellit.com
US Search
Victoria's Secret
Vitacost
WayPort
West
Yahoo

duminică, 2 august 2009

My solution to Blackberry - Nokia SMS VCard problem

The first thing I noticed about Blackberry is that it is unable to share VCards using SMS.

Whenever a Nokia user sends a VCard (contact) to a Blackberry phone , the receiver has no way to import the Contact to the address book except for multiple copy/paste and task switching.
To send a contact from Blackberry to a Nokia phone there is no option because even if the sender can format a VCARD in a SMS, on the Nokia it will end up in the SMS Inbox and not in the Contacts.

I found the situation unacceptable so I wrote a Blackberry add-on to enable receiving and sending VCards using SMS.
My application does not use any special phone features, it just uses the PIM and SMS API and creates to menus : one menu in the SMS viewer to import the VCARD to the Contact List and one menu in the Contact editor to send the Contact using SMS.

I published the application on Mobihand here : http://www.mobihand.com/product.asp?id=33446&n=SMS-VCard-Add-on .

Sending an SMS :
1. Open the contact
2. Select "Send as SMS"
3. Select the contact to whom you want to send the VCARD:


4. Done !


Importing an SMS is just as easy :

1. A new SMS with a VCARD is received in your INBOX:
2. Open the message and select "Add to contacts" from the menu:


3. Review the original VCARD:

4. Done !