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Archive for January, 2012

SOPA blackout: Bill lose three co-sponsors amid protest

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio

Three co-sponsors of the SOPA and PIPA antipiracy bills have publicly withdrawn their support as Wikipedia and thousands of other websites blacked out their pages Wednesday to protest the legislation.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) withdrew as a co-sponsor of the Protect IP Act in the Senate, while Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) said they were pulling their names from the companion House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Opponents of the legislation, led by large Internet companies, say its broad definitions could lead to censorship of online content and force some websites to shut down.

In a posting on his Facebook page, Rubio noted that after the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed its bill last year, he has “heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.”

PHOTOS: Sites on strike

“Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences,” Rubio said in announcing he was withdrawing his support. While he’s committed to stopping online piracy, Rubio called for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to back off plans to hold a key procedural vote on the bill on Tuesday.

Rubio’s withdrawal will reduce the number of co-sponsors to 39. Last week, two other co-sponsors, Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), joined four other Senate Republicans in a letter to Reid also urging him delay the vote. But Grassley and Hatch have not withdrawn their support.

Terry and Quayle were among the 31 sponsors of the House legislation before they withdrew their support Tuesday.

Quayle still strongly supports the goal of the House bill to crack down on foreign websites that traffic in pirated movies, music, medicine and other goods.

“The bill could have some unintended consequences that need to be addressed,” said Quayle spokesman Zach Howell. “Basically it needs more work before he can support it.”

Terry said that he also had problems with the House bill in its current form and would no longer support it.

Wikipedia, Reddit and about 10,000 other websites blacked out their pages Wednesday with messages warning of the dangers of the legislation and urging people to contact their congressional representatives. Howell said Quayle’s office had not seen a major increase in calls or emails Wednesday, but that the piracy bills have been the main issue in recent weeks for people contacting the office.

There has been a “manageable increase” in visits to House member websites Wednesday, said Dan Weiser, a spokesman for the House office of the chief administrative officer.

“It’s possible some users will see a short delay or slow loading of a member’s web page,” he said.

RELATED:

More opponents of PIPA and SOPA emerge on the right

SOPA blackout: Who’s gone dark to protest anti-piracy bill?

Wikipedia still accessible during SOPA blackout — with a little effort

— Jim Puzzanghera in Washington

Photo: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Credit: Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel

Whats your Function Junction | Web Design Greenville, SC

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

So is it okay to have a web site that may look great but does not work?

Well, my answer as a designer and developer would actually surprise most people. YES, it is okay to have a great design with no function, but for your client it is probably a big fat NO. Your web site should not only look amazing and be original; it should also function correctly and perform call to action to get your clients their desired results. There are great deal of developers out in the web community that are not designers and vice-a-versa.

We recently, had a client decide to use another web development company and the design of the site is nice. Unfortunately for our client the web development company was not experienced with shopping carts, so even though they have a nice looking site. The clients customers can no longer order online and the site basically no longer works. So what should you do if you experience this issue.

Ask questions, Ask questions, Ask questions, and educate yourself for the benefit of your company and its web site. Now, I am sure you are wondering what questions to ask? Well, here is a small list of questions that should help inform you if the company that you are about to work with is capable of performing not only the design but also the functions to your web site.

Questions to Ask:

Question: How long have you been developing web site?
Answer: If the answer with 1 year or we are just starting out, this can be a potential red flag if you are looking for a web site to do specific actions that may be complicated.

Question: Who is your developer/programmer?
Answer: We outsource our development to India, or  we know a guy. RUN, the reason is very simple. The person you are talking to most likely has no knowledge of the programming for a website and if this person is your point of contact then transferring your idea to them and then to someone else and so on. Well, you get the idea, your function will get lost in translation both literally and figuratively.

Question: What programming language do you use?
Answer: The answer should be immediate and they should be able to show you examples. If not then this is another red flag.

Question: Do you comment all of your code?
Answer: If they say no, or unfamiliar with what comment your code means then you need to find the nearest exit and leave the building. Commenting code is a practice that all developers should do when coding a web site. It is basically cliff notes to each section of code on the web site. The reason this is important is because the comments will assist another web developer if the site has to be moved or another web developer has to take over the project.

Question: We would like a self contained web site that we manage ourselves (CMS), can you develop something like that?
Answer: Once again the answer should be yes. But they should start out by evaluating your project and seeing if you would be better served with having an out of the box solution; such as, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or DNN. The reason being that if they develop something that only they understand then you are stuck with them and can never move your site. Having a foundation in one of frameworks mentioned before will make your site easier to move and most of these frameworks have a large selection of plugins to quickly add function to your web site. Now, there are some cases where custom programming is warranted and is very necessary, but remember if the programmer comments there code and also the web company agrees the coding belongs to you then there is no problem. Custom programming can be very beneficial in the development of your web site. This answer actually leads us into our next question

Question: Do you write code from scratch?
Answer: The answer should be yes. If it is no or they are unsure then you have an issue. Having a web company that can actually write code from scratch especially for a complicated and very involved web site is extremely important and can be critical to the operation of your web site. Your site need to have the ability to grow and expand over time…as I have said before, ” A web site is a ever evolving and growing means of communication.”

Remember, interview your potential web development company, spend time with them, ask questions, make a plan, and be sure to ask for examples.

I will be writing some more in-depth blog post that will deal with Planning, Development, Design and Maintenance so please be sure to check back often and feel free to contact me at 864-859-9848 or you can email me at dwerne@mojoe.net

Thank you,

Deveren Werne  – Developer, Designer – Lover of the Web.

Web Design Greenville

 

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