Wide Area Network (WAN)

Types and Characteristics of WANs

What is a WAN?

There are two prevailing definitions of a Wide Area Network (WAN). The book definition of a WAN is a network that spans large geographical locations, usually to interconnect multiple Local Area Networks (LANs). The practical definition of a WAN is a network that traverses a public network or commercial carrier, using one of several WAN technologies

What are its Main Components?

The main components for a WAN are routers, switches and modems. These components are described below in the hardware section.

CPE – Devices on the subscriber premises are called customer premises equipment (CPE).

The subscriber owns the CPE or leases the CPE from the service provider. A copper or fiber cable connects the CPE to the service provider’s nearest exchange or central office. This cabling is often called the local loop, or “last-mile”.

DTE/DCE – Devices that put data on the local loop are called data circuit-terminating equipment, or data communications equipment (DCE). The customer devices that pass the data to the DCE are called data terminal equipment (DTE). The DCE primarily provides an interface for the DTE into the communication link on the WAN cloud.

Hardware

In a WAN you will need various types of hardware components for it to function. The typical items of hardware that you will need in a WAN are:

Router – An electronic device that connects a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN) and handles the task of routing messages between the two networks. Operates at layer 3, and makes decisions using IP addresses.

Switch – A switch is a network device that selects a path or circuit for sending a unit of data to its next destination. Operates at layer 2, and uses MAC addresses to send data to correct destination.

Modem – Short for modulator/demodulator, a modem enables a computer to communicate with other computers over telephone lines. Operates at layer 1, where signals are converted from digital to analogue and vice versa for transmission and receiving.

Wan Standards

WANs operate within the OSI model using layer 1 and layer 2 levels. The data link layer and the physical layer. The physical layer protocols describe how to provide electrical, mechanical and functional connections to the services provided by the ISP. The data link layer defines how data is encapsulated for transmission to remote sites.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation is the wrapping of data in a particular protocol header. Remember that WANs operate at the physical layer and the data link layer of the osi model and that higher layer protocols such as IP are encapsulated when sent across the WAN link. Serial interfaces support a wide range of WAN encapsulation types, which must be manually specified. These types include SDLC, PPP, Frame delay etc. Regardless of WAN encapsulation used it must be identical on both sides of the point to point link.

Packet and Circuit Switching

Circuit switching and packet switching are both used in high-capacity networks.

The majority of switched networks today get data across the network

through packet switching.

Circuit-switching is more reliable than packet-switching. Circuit switching is old and expensive, packet switching is more modern.

General Routing Issues

What is a Routing Protocol?

A routing protocol is a protocol that specifies how routers communicate and exchange information on a network. Each router has prior knowledge of its immediate neighbours and knows the structure of the network topology. The routers know this because the routing protocol shares this information.

Protocol

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) was one of the most commonly uses protocols on internal networks. Routers use RIP to dynamically adapt changes to the network connections and communicate information about which networks routers can reach and the distance between them. RIP is sometimes said to stand for Rest in Pieces in reference to the reputation that RIP has for breaking unexpectedly and rendering a network unable to function.

Routing Algorithms

Distance Vector

This type of routing protocol requires that each router simply inform its neighbours of its routing table. The distance vector protocol is also known as the bellman-ford algorithm.

Link State

This type of routing protocol requires that each router maintain a partial map of the network. The link state algorithm is also know as Dijkstra’s algorithm.

IGRP

IGRP is a type of distance vector routing protocol invented by cisco used to exchange routing data in a autonomous system. Distance vector protocols measure distances and compare routes. Routers that use distance vector must send all or a portion of their routing table in a routing update message at regular intervals to each neighbour router.

Addressing and Routing

What does routing mean?

Routing is the process of deciding how to move packets from one network to another.

The directions also known as routes can be learned by a router using a routing protocol then the information is passed from router to router along the route of the destination.

IP Address’s

Every machine connected to the internet is assigned an IP address. An example of an IP address would be 192.168.0.1. IP addresses are displayed in decimal format to make it easier for humans to understand but computers communicate in binary form. The four numbers that separate an IP address are called Octets. Each position consists of eight bits. When added to together you get 32 bit address. The purpose of each octet in an IP address is to create classes of IP addresses that can be assigned within a network. There are three main classes that we deal with Class A, B and C. The octets of an IP address are split into two parts Network and Host. In a class A address the first octet is the network portion, this determines which network the computer belongs to, the last octets of the address are the hosts that belong to the network.

Sub netting

Sub netting allows you to create multiple networks within a class A, B or C address. The subnet address is the address used by your LAN. In a Class C network address you would have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. A subnet mask identifies which portion is network and which is host. For example 192.168.6.15 the first octet three octets are the Network address and the last octet being the host(Workstation). It is important to subnet a network because gateways need to forward packets to other LANS. By giving each NIC on the gateway an IP address and a Subnet mask it allows the gateways to route packets from LAN to LAN. Once the packet arrives at its destination, the gateway then uses the bits of the subnet portion of the IP address to decide which LAN to send the packets.

Circuit Switched Leased Lines

A circuit switched network is one that establishes a dedicated circuit (or channel) between nodes and terminals before the users may communicate. Here are some terminologies associated with a Circuit switched network.

Frame relay is a telecommunication service designed for cost-efficient data transmission between local area networks (LANs)

Basic rate interference is a service used by small business for internet connectivity. An ISDN BRI provides two 64 Kbps digital channels to the user.

Primary rate interface (PRI) is a telecommunications standard for carrying voice and data transmissions between two locations

All data and voice channels are ISDN and operate at 64kbit/s

Packet Switching

http://www.raduniversity.com/networks/2004/PacketSwitching/main.htm – _Toc80455261

Packet switching refers to protocols in which messages are broken up into small packets before they are sent. Each packet is then transmitted over the Internet. At the destination the packets are reassembled into the original message. Packet switching main difference from Circuit Switching is that that the communication lines are not dedicated to passing messages from the source to the destination. In Packet Switching, different messages can use the same network resources within the same time period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asynchronous_Transfer_Mode

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a cell relay, packet switching network and protocolwhich encodes data into small fixed-sized cells.

ISDN is used to carry voice, data, video and images across a telephone network. ISDN stands for integrated services Digital Network. Isdn also provides users with a 128kbps bandwidth. This is done through frame relay. Frame relay complements and provides a service between ISDN, which offers bandwidth at 128 Kbps and Asynchronous Transfer Mode which operates in somewhat similar fashion to frame relay but at speeds from 155.520 Mbps or 622.080 Mbps. Frame relay is based on the older X.25 packet switching technology and is used to transmit analogue signals such as telephone conversations.

PSDN stands for packet switched data network and is a data communication network. Packet switched networks do not establish a physical communication signal like the public telephone does (circuit switched network) Packets are sent on a fixed length basis and assigned with a source and a destination address. The packets then rely on the routers to read the address and route the packets through the network.

Mobile and Broadband Services

Digital Subscriber line(DSL) is mainly used to bring high bandwidth connections to homes and small business’s over a copper wire telephone line. This is can only be achieved if you stay within the range of the telephone exchange. DSL offers download rates of up to 6mbps allowing continuous transmission of video, audio and 3D effects. DSL is set to replace ISDN and compete with the cable modem in providing multimedia to homes. DSL works by connecting your telephone line to the telephone office over copper wires that are twisted together.

Asymmetric Digital Subscribers Line is most commonly used for home users. It provides a high download speed but a lower upload speed. Using ADSL, up to 6.1 megabits per second of data can be sent downstream and up to 640 Kbps upstream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_Digital_Subscriber_Line

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a digital subcriber line which runs over one pair of copper wires. The main difference between ADSL and SDSL is the difference in upload and download speeds. SDSL allows the same upstream data rate and downstream data rate as ADSL upstream can be very slow.

[http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0],,sid7_gci558545,00.html

HDSL High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, one of the earliest forms of DSL, is used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that provides equal bandwidth in both directions.

IDSL is a system in which data is transmitted at 128 Kbps on a regular copper telephone line from a user to a destination using digital transmission.

The Local Loop enables operators to connect directly to the consumer via copper local loops and then add their own equipment to offer broadband and other services. This process involves operators accessing local exchange buildings to connect to a network of copper lines which connect them to homes and businesses. BT is an Example of a Local Exchange. The local loop connecting the telephone exchange to most subscribers is capable of carrying frequencies well beyond the 3.4 kHz upper limit.

Benefits of using DSL

DSL can provide virtually instantaneous transmission of voice, data and video over ordinary copper phone lines. A DSL connection can eliminate delays when waiting to download information and graphics from the Internet. It provides users with a cost effective high speed Internet connection. Another benefit is that a DSL connection is always on-line (like a LAN connection) with no waiting time for dialling or connecting.

There are now more than 10 million broadband connections in the UK. By December 2005 there were 9.792 million broadband connections in the UK and the average broadband take up rate during the three months to December was more than 70,000 per week.

Ndebele Weddings

The Ndebele wedding is celebrated in three stages, this can take several years. The first stage is Labola for the bride; this is paid in instalments of both money and livestock. The second stage is a two-week sequestration of the bride during which time other women teach the bride how to be a good wife and the third stage is completed when the bride has her first child.

The groom to be sends a letter to the bride’s family to request a date for the Labola negotiation. He then has to purchase a sheep; some blankets, a broom and a few clothes for the girl’s family. The grooms parents then visit the brides parents and pay the Labola, after this they take the girl to the boys family to get to know him and his family.

Preparation for the wedding day will include writing up a guest list and sending out of the invitations, this happen two weeks before the wedding day. Food is bought and cooked the traditional way this will include ‘mielie pap’ (traditional maize meal) meat and salads, fruit, sweets and cake are served as dessert on the day.

The official ceremony will take place in a church, family members will be present for this so that they can witness the couple saying their wedding vows and the placing of rings on each others fingers. After the church ceremony the couple will change into traditional clothes and go with the guests to the girls home to eat. After they have finished to eat the couple will sit at a table, which has been especially decorated for them. Everyone present will talk to the couple and give them gifts.

The groom will then thank the guests where after they will go to his home. The oldest boy in the family will be there together with all the parents and grand-parents to give the girl an Ndebele name.

Choosing the Best Car Audio System

The basic components of a high-quality car stereo system are an AM/FM tuner, a CD player, an amplifier (optional but recommended) and great speakers.

Rule: No auto audio can equal the performance of fine home equipment. The car compartment is small, besieged with engine and traffic noises, and surrounded with competing electrical signals. And all of this in a moving environment. A welter of technical and personal choices dictate the final package.

General guidelines: Shop around. Car audio components are often discounted. Check mail-order houses and the Internet for the best buys.

Essential: Deal with reputable businesses and buy name brands. Make sure you can exchange or return components in case they prove incompatible or do not fit into the car. Remember each unit must be installed and may require custom mounting accessories. Keep personal tastes in mind. Rock and country music fans usually prefer stronger bass ranges. Classical music requires good mid and treble.

How to allocate your spending: 40% to 50% for tuner/tape player, 25% to 30% for amplifier, 25% to 30% for speakers (unlike home gear, for which half the recommended expenditure may go for speakers alone).

General recommendations: Components are a better deal than manufacturer-installed original sound equipment. Good manufacturer-installed gear can cost $1,000, a price that will usually bring you far better sound if spent on components. Try to find a dealer that has set up a sound room to hear and compare different systems.

New-car buyer strategy: Buyers planning to purchase components should insist on a delete-option clause, eliminating the installed radio cost.

In-dash versus under-dash components. Under-dash components are easily installed.

Overriding disadvantage: A thief can slip out the under-dash gear as easily as an ashtray. Choose in-dash tuner/CD players unless you want to stow the components in the trunk each time you leave the car. (If you still prefer an under-dash system, Sony components are top-notch ones.)

Amplifiers: Most auto-sound packages benefit from amplifiers that strengthen bass and high-treble tones.

Problems: Amplifiers are bulky and often must be installed under a seat or in the trunk. Unless your tuner has a bypass circuit permitting you to plug into the preamplifier, your costly amplifier will only boost the distorted output of the built-in amplifier.

Smart buying: Look for amplifiers measuring power in watts (w) per channel in terms of distortion (THD). Goal: About five watts per channel at 1 % distortion or less. To get this, the amplifier may require 50 watts per channel because few operate at better than 10% efficiency in a car.

Bi-amplifiers: They offer separate power boosts for bass and treble ranges. Bi-amplification may be called for when separate bass and treble speakers are installed.

Speakers: Speakers must be compatible with amplifiers. Their power capacity should be slightly higher than amplifier. Example: Get 60w speakers for a 50w /ch amplifier. One way to be sure of speaker/amplifier compatibility is to purchase them as a package.

Stereo sound requires at least two speakers. Many enthusiasts choose four. Non-directional bass speakers are best placed in the factory cutouts in the rear window shelf. Next best placement: In rear doors. Treble speakers can be mounted in front door panels or under dash.

Installation: Unless you are highly skilled electronics hobbyist, have the auto-sound system professionally installed. Allow $150 to $200 for installation, and get a satisfaction guaranteed agreement.

Title IX: Unjustly Blamed

On January 19, 2011, the University of Delaware cut two men’s sports teams: cross country and outdoor track and field. UD’s athletic department said the move was to stay in compliance with Title IX. However, UD is not the only college cutting men’s sports. Just recently, the University of North Dakota cut two of their men’s teams. UND’s athletic director said that Title IX was a factor in the school’s decision to cut the programs.

Title IX was created in 1972 to end gender discrimination in education programs that receive federal financial assistance. The law has made massive strides in advancing gender equality, especially when it comes to women’s sports. Many young women were given the chance to play sports that women previously could not participate in. However, the law has become a common explanation to why men’s collegiate sports teams are being cut. So how could a federal law that promotes gender equality like Title IX create an inequality for men?

The truth of the matter is that Title IX unjustly shoulders the blame for the cutting of men’s sports teams. College athletic departments only have themselves to blame. Mismanaged athletic budgets lead to the termination of men’s teams. College athletic departments are simply too proud to admit it, so they make Title IX their scapegoat. This was the case for both the University of Delaware and the University of North Dakota. UD cut two men’s teams in order to pour more money into its football program. UND cut two men’s teams as part of a $2.4 million budget cut within its athletics department. Title IX was unfortunately being used as a diversion for the real reason behind why these teams were cut.

How could colleges and universities mismanage a budget so poorly that it has to cut a men’s team you ask? Well, the answer is surprisingly simple: football. Football has the highest budget of any other college sport. College football programs are also allowed to give up to 85 scholarships. Unfortunately, there is no female sport that can counterbalance the sport of football in terms of scholarships and funding. Due to Title IX, schools must match this amount of funding for women’s sports, thus leaving the other men’s sports teams with very little to no money. In “Rethinking How Title IX Is Applied”, Frank Deford suggests to separate football from college athletic departments. He proposes to put football under the category of entertainment or appeasement of the alumni. Doing this would be in line with Title IX since football has no female analog. Once football is separated, the sport no longer has to comply with Title IX.

Even with the separation of football, Title IX is not completely in the clear. U.S. Congress must revise Title IX so it supports not only equality between men and women, but between men’s sports teams and women’s sports teams. A new revision to Title IX should be that each school should have the same set amount of money allotted to each team based on the number of student-athletes in the sport. Another rule should be that the male athlete-to-female athlete ratio should be exactly 50/50. With these new rules, women’s collegiate athletics would be exactly equal in terms of funding and number of athletes to men’s athletics.

Let’s take a fictional college, College X, for example. College A has a $74,000 budget for athletics and has 74 athletes currently enrolled. Therefore, College X’s per-athlete spending would be $1,000. Let’s also say College X has 3 sports: men’s and women’s basketball and women’s rowing. College X’s basketball teams both have 12 roster spots, thus allotting them a $12,000 budget for each team. The rowing team has 50 women on the team, thus giving them a $50,000 budget. Yet, according to the new rules, College X would be in violation because the number of male athletes is less than the number of female athletes. However, if College X added a men’s swim team with 50 roster spots, College X would no longer be in violation of the new Title IX rules.

In regards to football, the new revision should not allow the football budget at a certain school to exceed 33% of the overall athletics budget. Going back to the example of College X, College X’ s football team could not have a budget higher than $24,420, exactly 33% of College X’s $74,000 athletic budget. 33% may seem like a lot of money and a significant portion of the athletics budget, but this is only a fraction of what football programs are used to spending. “According to stats culled by Sports on Earth writer Patrick Hruby, at Rutgers, one of the slashed teams – men’s tennis – had a budget of $175,000, which is roughly what the football team spent on hotel rooms for its home games. And between 1986 and 2009, the average salaries of football coaches at 44 big-time programs rose from $273,000 to more than $2 million.” (Zimmerman) With these new rules in place, football budgets will not be outrageously high compared to the budgets of other sports teams.

With this revision to the existing law, athletic departments will be forced to properly manage a budget. Football budgets will be kept in line with the other sports programs. Most importantly, these new rules will promote equality between both men’s and women’s sports just as Title IX was designed to do.

Deford, Frank. “Rethinking How Title IX Is Applied.” Npr. N.p., 2 May 2007. Web.

Zimmerman, Jonathan. “Blame Football, Not Title IX.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 09 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

The Root of All Religions – The Awe of Creation

Before you begin reading this article, please understand that nothing I am writing is with bad thought. I realize that religion is a very touchy subject and some may get offended from my statements, but I do not mean to offend. But- the time has come to put everything on the table. We can not just tiptoe around important issues that are impacting the world in ways that may not be understood until it is too late. Anger is brewing all over and religion as well as social class (which, in my opinion, are directly related) is at the top of the beef list.

I am a Jew. If I were not a Jew, I might not understand the Jewish people. I may feel angry and even hateful. Do the Jews really think they are the "chosen" ones? Are you kidding? What ?! – everyone else is just here to serve them and that is how they think Gd wanted it? What right do they have to just do whatever they want … be crooked lawyers and accountants. Cause entire banking systems to crash. Kick people out of their country so that they can "return"? Who do these people think they are? Do not they get it that they are causing others to suffer under the guise of Gd?

But – on the other hand … was not the first Bible given to the Jews? Was not Jesus a Jew? Is not the basis of all western religion Judaism? Some sects of Christianity even teach their constituents to give respect to the Jew as the Jew is the root of the tree. Is not Israel sacred and were not the Jews called the Sons of Israel (Bnei Yisroel) in the Bible itself? Does not the story go that the Jews were brought out of Egypt into the desert to receive the Torah (the Bible) and it was given to us because none of the other nations accepted it and we did? Can not a Jew say … What ?! Now you want to accept it? …

I want to talk about this because this has caused me a lot of grief in my life trying to understand this issue. I have faith in Gd and my faith relations on the fact that Gd is merciful and must have the ultimate power of understanding human nature better than any person on this planet, obviously. If this is so, which I have to assume it is, Gd understands that humans have this funny thing in us all called a competitive streak. You may not think you do, but you do, in some way or another. Not only do we have a competitive streak in all of us, but that competitive streak has even caused some great men (such as Darwin) to say that is what makes us or breaks us as humans altogether. This competitive streak is the root of all of our conflicts within humanity. Who is richer? Who is better looking? Who is physically stronger? Who is smarter? Who is nicer? Who is more of a giver? Who is more obedient? Who is wiser? Who is more knowledgeable? Who is the most relaxed? Who lives a better life? Who does Gd like better?

Gd does not speak to us in a direct manner because if it were easy, what would life be worth. There would be no challenge or growth to enjoy. Experience is the essence of life. Experience is our "fun". Free will is our gift to enjoy the "fun" with. Put these two together and life becomes the only true blessing that has been given to us.

With that being said, Gd, our Creator, I have to assum, wants us to enjoy the blessing of life that He / She / It hasave to us. But how can we enjoy life if there is competition involved. In competition, someone has to win and someone has to lose. All of us are Gd's creation. In order for someone to breath, they have to have life in them. Life is part of Gd and Gd will never lose. Therefore, all breathing creatures are aspects of Gd that can not lose. We need to understand this before we can move ahead to the next phase of life – PEACE!

We have to rid ourselves of the un-G-dliness in ourselves. That un-G-dliness is our competitive streak. Life is a game, but not a competitive one. It is an interactive game. Competition divides. We are supposed to One. We are supposed to help our fellow pieces of Gd to find connections to one another so we can become whole again – not separate. We need to stop this nonsense of who is better and who is worse. There is no such thing. There is only one thing -GD!

We are all part of a machine. We are all vital. Even the smallest screw on the most advanced machine is vital. Without that small screw the whole machine can disassemble. We have to realize that our screws are falling out of the Machine and we are disassembling. We are causing our own destruction because we have taken up ourselves to decide that the screws were not important and that we can disregard them.

We need to accept that we are one and that our connection is the Awe of Creation. We are pieces to a puzzle and when put ourselves together we can see the big picture. Even religions need to find their right place because each religion is vital to the person that was born to it. Are Jews "chosen" or were they "chosen" to teach this concept that was given to us in a Book Written by Gd to everyone else. Do Christians have more heart or are they necessary to remind the Jews that heart has a place in the puzzle? Are Muslims more Gd fearing than all other religions or are they here to shake us up a little so we do not get too carried away with the concept of Free Will, and are reminding us that boundaries are still necessary …?

I want to mention one more idea … The idea of ​​social class and religion being interrelated. I am just going to say this … the statement "Gd blessed me with a lot of money" really gets my goat. Really? … That's it? Gd blesses people with money? That's all Gd could come up with? Come on now people. Let's elevate our thoughts just a little. Gd has a lot more up His / Her / her sleeve than money …

Thinking Like An Online Entrepreneur – E-Commerce Tips

So much has been written about entrepreneurial thinking that I won’t try to distil it here. However, there are certain behaviours I have noted about how some web owners approach the development and running of their e-commerce websites which deserve a little discussion.

Let me start with the most important, influencing factor to any web owner’s success: belief.

Belief

Starting your online entrepreneurial activity with the right mindset and beliefs is like winning the match before you’ve stepped out onto the court. It’s what separates the really successful businesses from the average ones.

Ask any sportsperson or sports psychologist and they’ll tell you that your beliefs profoundly affect your performance.

What we believe is possible in our online entrepreneurial life is the limiting factor in our success.

Let’s take an example. Lots of people wish they were millionaires, but of those who want to become millionaires, very few actually believe they will be millionaires. Those that do, however, stand a far greater chance of becoming what they believe. Why? Because at a conscious and subconscious level they are doing everything they can to pursue that one objective. Now I’m not suggesting that being a millionaire should be your life’s goal; I’m just using it as an example. The point is that your underlying beliefs in what you are capable of fundamentally affect the actions you take and the choices you make.

All this may seem more like some New Age incantation rather than hard-edged business-speak, but there is good reason I mention it. Owning and running an e-commerce website is not for the faint-hearted. It is complex and demanding and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Be prepared for long hours, headaches and hard work, but also be prepared for more customers, a growing bank account and a sense of achievement. Your belief that you are doing the right thing is what will see you through and keep you on course for success.

Owning an e-commerce website can be a wild ride but how you handle it is totally dictated by your mindset and your beliefs. For example, many e-commerce websites fail because their owners give up – they lose confidence, interest and commitment, especially in the early days of their website’s life. It’s easy to give up if you’re struggling or faced with outright failure. However, those who believe they will succeed don’t see failure as a setback but as a learning experience – they have the right mindset and they will do well because of it.

I’m telling you this because you know that success isn’t a set of purely mechanical step-by-step processes. (If it were, we’d all be millionaires.) Success comes from your mindset: what you believe you can achieve and the expectations you set yourself. This mindset is as important as knowing how to Search Engine optimize your e-commerce website or write compelling sales copy.

Gardening Tools – An Overview

Most people know very well about the rules and regulations to keep your plants to grow healthy in your garden. For getting sustainable growth from your garden plants, they do require good soil quality, sun light and sufficient water. Although these items have been gifted by nature, gardening tools are necessary to upkeep your garden. Good gardening tools will assist you in taking care of your plants as well as cultivating good growing conditions, thus having a positive effect on your plant’s health.

Defective gardening tools can be detrimental to your garden and to you. Defective gardening tools can cause injury to your plants or injury to yourself. Gardeners should find the best quality garden tool that they can afford. Once you have labeled your garden tool as “the best”, it implies that the tool provides quality work for which it was designed for and with the least labor possible.

Below is a list of some common garden tools and their uses.

Lawnmowers

Luxus Push Reel Mower rated as best by the gardening aficionados provides large top cover that protects overhanging flowers and shrubs. Another special gardening tool called American Lawn Mower Deluxe has also been accredited as best, which will be helpful to operate on elbow grease alone and causing no pollution. However, this is not conducive for too tall grasses.

Garden Shredders

In general, all garden shredders have a high watt motor and come with silent crushing system. This kind of gardening tool accelerates your shredding activity. Gardening shredders with an electric shredder are easy to assemble and aids in tree pruning with maximum of 40 mm. The garden shredder also aids in shredding debris from punning your hedges. This gardening tool is considered the best among all the garden shredders since it is available with a plunger for increased portability and built-in wheels.

Cultivators

These modern gardening tools are available with patented tines to help in cutting the hard compacted soil smoothly. Cultivators are available with a free border edger. It is perfect to use in cleaning the moss, aerating and in thatching. This garden tool helps extensively in preparing vegetable plots, flowerbeds, etc.

Leaf sweeper

These gardening tools are extensively used for smaller lawns. It is having an infinite height adjustment with 200-liter collector.

Edge Trimmer

The gardening equipment reviewers have also accredited this gardening tool as important equipment. This aids in trimming the hedges and aids in plant pruning.

Spading fork

This is a wonderful gardening tool used for aerating and transplanting. By using this gardening tool, it is possible to perform splitting grasses and perennials. In addition, this garden tool can be used as a manure fork, mulch fork, and sorting hay.

Mattock

Mattock is an important gardening tool for breaking up the clay soils and working around established trees with the roots. There is no need to have a pick and a hoe, if you have a mattock.

Before you leave the garden center, it is highly advisable to have a look at this checklist of gardening tools and confirm if you have all the gardening tools you need to make your garden picture perfect.

Adobe Flash Player: A Risk To Privacy and Security

Adobe Flash Player: a greater risk to privacy and security than you may realize

Do you know that if you have Adobe's Flash Players plugin installed on your web browser that your internet activity and history is potentially being tracked and used without your knowledge or permission? Just managing your web browser's tracking cookie through your web browser does not prevent your internet browsing activity, and its history, from being tracked. Additionally, just keeping your computer current and fully patched with all of Microsoft's critical updates keeps your computer safe from hackers, think again. Even using an antivirus program, with the current current virus definitions current does not always prevent your computer and privacy from being at risk.

Recently I came across a news article that made my eye. It was a New York Times technology piece with the title " Code that tracks users' browsing prompts laws" (Vega, 2010). This article reports about the increasing number of consumers taking legal action against companies that track their web activity without the consumer's knowledge or permission. Adobe's Flash Player is the main conduit for capturing this tracking data. This is not the first time that Adobe's Flash player has created legal privacy issues. In 2008, Windows Secrets Newsletter published an article on Adobe's Flash cookie privacy issues. Recently they published another article called " Eliminate Flash-spawned" zombie "cookies" following up on the same issue (Leonhard, 2010). Adobe has done little to resolve this issue. These law suits are directed at Adobe and other companies that collect and sell information about your web browsing activity without your knowledge or permission. Another ominous contention is that some companies are surreptitiously using Flash cookies to glean information from your browser, even though you have your web browser set to reject tracking cookies.

How does this happen

Adobe's Flash Player browser plugin uses and stores Flash cookies on your computer, separate from your better known browser HTML cookies . Both types of cookies are used to store browsing and site preferences, along with your browsing history and tracking information. Flash cookies , like your web browser cookies, are small bits of data saved by the websites you visit. These websites use these cookies to store website settings and info (like your name, preferences, Flash game scores, etc.), to track website behavior, and to target you for specific advertisements. They can also create what is known as persistent identification element to uniquely identify you and track what websites you have visited.

Flash cookies are not managed through your web browser's cookie settings. This same Flash cookies storage area can also be used to store a copy of your browser's cookies, allowing Adobe's Flash to recreate cookies that have previously been deleted from your browser, ie spawned 'zombie' cookies.

What to do to protect yourself

Adobe does not make it easy for users to manage Flash cookies. By default, when Flash Player is installed, it automatically allows third parties to store and access your computer. To change these settings you need to access Flash's Global Setting Manager. The easiest, most straight forward way to get started is to open your web browser and copy the Adobe URL listed in my references (Ezinearticles does not allow me to place the link here). Or do a Google search on: "adobe flash player setting manager." The macromedia.com link should be the first and second items found.

This will take you to the Global Setting panel for Adobe's Flash Player (see Adobe Flash Player Global Setting Manager below). The image embedded on the web page is the actual management console, not a picture. The current version of this panel has eight panels or tabs. Each tab covers a different aspect of privacy and security. You may want to add this to your browser's Favorites for future reference.

Adobe Flash Player Global Settings Manager Global Privacy Settings

The first tab on the Global Setting Manager is for your computer's camera and microphone settings. You have the option of setting this as "Always deny …" or "Always ask …" The "Always ask …" option forces the Flash Player to ask for your permission before allowing a third-party to access your Computer's camera and microphone. "Always deny …" does just that, it always denies permission to access your camera and microphone. You will not receive any notification that a third-party tried to access either your camera of microphone with this option.

Your current settings are not displayed. Clicking on "Always deny …" or "Always ask …" overrides any previous global setting made for this. This setting is for sites you have not already visited. I recommend that you select the "Always ask" option. This will allow you the option of using an interactive flash site, requiring the use of your camera and microphone. You will be prompted to confirm your selection.

You will always be prompted for your permission at any website requesting access to your camera and microphone.

Global Flash Cookie Storage Settings

The second tab of the Global Setting Manager controls how much disk space you will allow for new web sites (third-parties) to store information, Flash cookies, on your computer. By condemning all, you may prevent some websites from functioning correctly.

This panel determines the amount of disk space you will automatically allow third-parties to use for websites you have not already visited. Some websites may not function correctly if you do not allow some disk space storage. This is the total amount for every website. If a website needs or wants more you will receive a prompt to allow or disallow this additional space (see below). Your installed Flash Player must be version 8, or newer, to have the option of allowing or disallowing third-party flash content. If your flash version is older than version 9, you will not have the option to allow / disallow storage and sharing of common Flash components.

The suggested settings that work for me are shown above. The Allow third-party Flash, and Store common Flash, are needed by a lot of sites to allow them to function correctly.

Global Security Settings

The third tab is the Global Security Settings panel. This panel controls how Shockwave Flash (SWF) and Flash Video (FLV) are handled. The problem with these types of files is that they can contain applets or computer scripts that can be used to collect and share information about you without your knowledge or permission. Both SWF and FLV files can be embedded on web pages. These files can and do exchange audio, video, and data using Macromedia's Real Time Messaging Protocol. It is possible for SWF or FLV content stored locally on your computer to communicate with the Internet without your knowledge of permission.

I recommend setting this to "Always ask." If a website needs to store Flash cookies on your computer, you will be prompted for permission. By being prompted, you will be aware of the website's tracking activity.

Global Flash Update Notification Setting

The fourth tab is the Global Notification Settings panel. This is where you set how often flash checks for updates. I recommend enabling this feature and having Flash check for updates at least every seven days. I strongly recommended that Flash updates be installed as soon as possible for security reasons. By keeping your Flash Player updated, you make the malicious code writers' job just a little harder. The security vulnerabilities for Flash Player plugins are very well-known.

After installing any Flash updates you should validate that your privacy and security settings have not changed. With previous Flash updates, the settings within the Flash manager have reverted back to default, ie wide-open, settings.

Protected Content / License Settings

The fifth tab is the Protected Content Playback Settings panel. When you purchase or rent Flash "protected" content, license files are downloaded to your computer. Sometimes these files become corrupt. By resetting these files, new licenses can be downloaded. This option should only be used when protected Flash content is not playing correctly, and a technician has advised you to reset the licenses files. This will reset ALL license files stored on your computer; You are not able to select individual files.

If you click on the "Reset License Files" button you will be prompted to confirm or cancel your selection.

Website Privacy Settings

The sixth tab is the Website Privacy Settings panel. This is the list of websites you have granted permission to store data on your computer. This panel is where you can "Always ask," "Always allow," or "Always deny" access you your computer's camera and microphone.

The recommended setting is "Always ask" or "Always deny." You can edit these by highlighting the website and change the permission or delete the website. You can also remove all the websites from this list by selecting "Delete all sites." The settings on this panel override the default setting from the Global Privacy Settings panel for these particular websites.

If you choose to delete a website from this list you are prompted for confirmation.

Note: The list of websites displayed in this and the following panels are stored on your computer and displayed to allow you to view and change your local settings. Adobe claims that it has no access to this list, or to any of the information that the websites may have stored on your computer.

Website Storage Settings

The seventh tab is the Website Storage Settings panel. This lists all the websites that you have visited that use Flash content, and how much storage they are using on your computer. You can change the amount of storage you allow, delete individual websites, or all the websites. This panel overrides the Global Storage panel settings.

On a Windows 7 computer, the storage location for these files is: C: Usersuser_nameApplication DataMacromedia Flash Player in a folder called #SharedObjects or a subfolder of: macromedia.comsupportflashplayersys.

Note: Deleting the website using the Flash Global Settings Manager only removes the website's storage content; It does not remove the folder created for the website. An empty folder will remain on your computer.

By selecting a website and using the "Delete website" button, you can delete that website from the list of visited websites. This also removes all data that the website has stored from this storage area.

Peer-Assisted Networking Settings

The last tab is the Peer-Assisted Networking Settings panel. This is where you allow or disallow users who are playing the same content to share your bandwidth. If you are not on a broadband internet connection, you never want to use this option. When in use, this option increases network traffic on your internet connection and to your computer.

It is recommended that you disable this option. This will not prevent Flash from working.

Other Notes and Considerations

The current versions of Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox version 3.6 share the same Flash settings. Changing or updating Flash through this console makes the changes for both. To verify this, validate the Flash Management console from within each web browser you use.

After installing any Flash updates you should validate that your privacy and security settings have not changed. With previous Flash updates, the settings within the Flash manager have reverted back to default, ie wide-open, settings.

On a Windows 7 computer, you can manually manage Flash cookies by navigating to: C: Usersuser_nameApplication DataMacromedia Flash Player in a subfolder located at # SharedObjectsnonsensical-filename and macromedia.comsupportflashplayersys. Deleting the website using the Flash Global Settings Manager only removes the website's storage content; It does not remove the folder created for the website. An empty folder will remain on your computer in the C: Usersuser_nameApplication DataMacromedia Flash Playermacromedia.comsupportflashplayersys folder. The Application Data folder is a hidden systems folder. You will have to have hidden directories visible using the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option under the Fold Folder View option. You may also need systems permission to actually view and navigate these directories on a Windows 7 computer.

Instead of doing this manually, you can also use a free utility like Flash Cookie Cleaner 1.0, produced by ConsumerSoft (www.customer.com). This product will clean up and eliminate unwanted and unneeded Flash cookies in both the #SharedObjects and macromedia.com subfolders. This is a much simpler and more efficient way to clean up Flash cookies. You can download this free program from: http://www.flashcookiecleaner.com/ . This utility is free of spyware, adware, viruses, and other malicious programs. Download and save this file to your desktop and run it from there. This is a stand-along program that does not install itself on your computer.

References

Adobe – Flash Player: Help. (Nd). Adobe. Http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager02.html

ConsumerSoft – Freeware Products. (Nd). ConsumerSoft.

Leonhard, W. (2010, August 5.). Eliminate Flash-spawned "zombie" cookies. Windows Secrets.

Vega, T. (2010, September 20.) Code that tracks users' browsing prompts lawsuits. The New York Times.

To request a pdf of the article with screenshot shot please visit the Friend Consulting web site and send an email from there with the Title: Adobe Insecurity.

Internet Home Based Business – It's Not That Easy!

I've written before about amount of email I receive in the form of link exchange requests. There's no need to go into it all again but suffice to say, with seven websites with varying subject matter and content, I get my fair share of these requests by both email and through Linkmarket.net, the link exchange scheme in which I am a Member. I mention this not because this is about the link requests, but about the opportunity that all these requests present to view hundreds of other websites each week, mostly new ones and mostly home business or affiliate oriented.

In order to make a decision whether to link or not, I will look at each website, not only the PR and traffic ranking, but the basic appearance and layout will give me a reasonable insight into how serious they are, how much they have researched And planned their website and consequently their whole approach to their home business. I find this method is a reasonable means to predict if the website will still be around in six months and whether the owner will still be online at all.

I am sorry to say, while spending at least 4 – 5 hours a week at this activity, I'm disappointed at the amount of people who are literally 'throwing' a website together without any conspiring planning (or basic knowledge about how to actually Go about it. The number of websites I see, which have clearly no chance of serving a home business purpose at all, is staggering. What's more staggering is what some people seem to view as 'viable'.

Lack of content (and I mean none at all) and no organized effort to concentrate on any keywords or phrases at all, let alone a subject, are the most obvious and numerous. There are many sites which are simply one page, that's it. The page will contain two paragraphs on how "you've come to the right place to get …" whatever it is, then a few totally unrelated banners and 'obvious' affiliate links and sometimes a Google AdSense box. From purely the point of view of AdSense revenue, the lack of content and interest makes them useless, even for this.

Do not get me wrong, my purpose here is not to bemoan the quality of these hastily prepared and ill-equipped websites, nor is it to lament the abilities of those who have tried them. My purpose is to impress on these people and others planning the same route that home based business, in any shape or form online has to be treated like any other business endeavor. Would you put the same lack of effort and planning into the sign for your 'bricks and mortar' business? Your website IS your shopfront!

No matter how many times you read that home business is easy and there's millions to be made so quickly with so little effort or knowledge, I'm afraid it's not true! I so often see the words, "no knowledge or effort necessary" and then the figure per month or year that you can (or WILL) earn. The one I get the most entertainment from is "let me build you a website and you sit back and watch the money roll in" … Oh dear!

Ask anyone who has spent more than six months online, trying to earn a dollar (not necessarily an income) and they'll tell you that you can not expect to be the least bit successful without at least some basic knowledge and a fair bit Of effort. Of course, there are those who have been lucky enough to strike something at the right time, in the right place and manage to be hugely successful in a short period, but these are few (if indeed they exist at all in more than single digits ).

Like any business endeavor, you need to plan, you need to research and you need to go about your chosen business systematically, with the right tools and the right information. Your main asset, the one most people will see as their first and only impression of you and your product or service, is your website. How can it simply be an 'afterthought' or a hastily thrown together page with no thought as to how it appears to those who may visit.

A reasonable imaging option usually comes with most operating programs. They have their limitations, of course, but until you can invest in something more elaborate, these programs can be used to put together a reasonable header or logo. Goodness, website templates, some of which are not too bad, are free! There's no reason why anyone should not be able to come up with, at least, a presentable website (mine are certainly not works of art, but I believe they are 'presentable').

Of course, someone who has no experience online at all, will need to include a little html or php knowledge in their 'research' phase. But it really is not that hard to get a handle on the basic concepts and go from there, especially with all the free help available online at forums and related websites.

Content and concentration on specific keywords and phrases is critical if anyone desires to have a chance in the Search Engines. How to right decent copy and the simple knowledge about what methods to use to attract or to not 'put-off' your visitors is as important though, many tend to go into an online business without, it would seem, much of a grasp of Any of this.

There are numerous webmaster oriented forums that new webmasters can go to for friendly advice from those who have been at it for years and a home business with a website has to have a 'webmaster', like it or not. I've had people say to me that they want to get into an internet home business but they do not want to bother with learning about html etc. My advice to them in this case, is to forget it, unless they have hundreds or even thousands to pay for someone to build a site, let alone the ongoing maintenance it will need, often daily!

It's not as if you need to be able to write html 'freehand'. The programs, which are again, available with most operating systems or 'office extensions', make the task quite simple, with a small understanding. I started years ago with MS Frontpage® (part of the MS Office® package) and I still use it today because it's so simple to use (the same 2000 version I started on). I can write 'freehand' html code if I have to, but why when I do not need to? But like everything, you have to get off your butt and have a look, in order to discover that it's not really that difficult.

My advice to those who want to do it properly is to look at the websites that are involved in the same type of home business. Do the research, read about Internet home business and / or affiliate marketing until your eyes water. God knows there's enough material online to last anyone for a million years. Disseminating the worthwhile can be a chore, but that's where much of the learning occurs and remember, this is your business you're talking about, not a part-time dalliance, or at least it should not be.

Like any other endeavor, be it business, hobby, sport or otherwise, you will only get out of it what you put into it. You'll find that those who have been successful in an online home business, are those who have learned the value of knowledge, information, know-how, call it whatever you like. Many successful home businesspeople have had slow and inauspicious beginnings, just like most of those who are hard at it now, but they made it with this knowledge and by applying it to their home business.

Employment Schemes – The Downside of "Easy Money"

Please be aware that there are employment scams out there. You might have already come across some scams in your own endeavors to make a few extra bucks. Most of these, these "get rich quick" scams are advertised on telephone polls and in newspapers. We see them online or hear radio ads. They are even advertised in "infomercials" during late night television. Please try to avoid the following:

· Making money by pestering people with email spam

· Making money by stuffing envelopes

· Earning thousands with as a home typist or data entry

· Getting paid to take surveys

· Earning easy tasks with MLM

· Making millions from selling vitamins

I am sure there are a million other scams out there. A basic rule of thumb: you should not have to open up your pocket to "learn" industry secrets. If you pay money to go to conferences and seminars to learn guaranteed secrets from professionals, the only thing you can guarantee is that they will try to milk more money from you without offering you much in the way of helpful information.

At the root of each of these employment "opportunities" is a MLM structure. The money is made here not by producing a product necessarily, but by pulling in legions of "downline" workers who will do the work so those on top can build their pockets with cash. Also, the older an MLM is, the likelihood of the existence of true business opportunities dwindles.

For example, there is a popular "opportunity" that provides money while stuffing envelopes? Think about this! It literally takes machines pennies on the dollar to stuff thousands of envelopes each second! Do you think they will pay money for you to be able to stuff 100 envelopes an hour? Yep … me neither.

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