Archive for In the News


Wireless Payments are Coming!

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Pay with Your iPhoneA flurry of recent reports and articles seem to be confirming the obvious: that in the very near future an enormous amount of payment processing will occur wirelessly at the point of purchase using your mobile phone or other network connected device (for example an iPad). The breakthrough technology that is enabling this transition is near field communications (NFC). Below are the facts pointing to this wireless payment revolution and what you can expect to see.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is being built into new device designs. So exactly what is NFC and what will it mean for the average person? As defined by Wikipedia, ”Near field communication or NFC, is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeters (3.9 in) distance.” So NFC let’s devices communicate wirelessly when they are within a very short distance. For example, imagine the distance from you to a card reader at the super market or other retailer when you are checking out with your purchases. In order for consumers to use a wireless payment technology – it first needs to
be built into their devices they are carrying around. According to The Washington Post, the next generation iPhone – dubbed the iPhone 5 – may have an NFC antenna built into the touch screen. Thus permitting wireless payments. Additionally, the same source is citing the addition of NFC into the next generation of iPads. Now wrap your mind around these numbers. According to Information Week, both the iPhone and Google’s Android platforms which may include the NFC payment capabilities are hugely popular. In the U.S. alone, Apple has sold 16.24 million iPhones in its most recent fiscal quarter, and Google reports that it is activating 300,000 new Android handsets per day. If these devices and platforms support the NFC standard for payments, the infrastructure will develop very quickly.

Adoption of the NFC technology by retailers will follow consumer demand. Having the capability to pay for goods and services wirelessly is only half of the equation. Of course the vendors who are selling you the products need to have the capability to charge you wirelessly as well. The installed base of legacy credit card processing terminals in use is enormous. Additionally, various reports suggest that new terminals are being created at the rate of 1.5 million per year. In order for retailers to adopt a different technology and to purchase the equipment necessary to process NFC payments there needs to be sufficient consumer demand. Therefore, the wireless payment revolution is currently falling victim to a ”chicken and egg” issue. Again according to Information Week, ”Apple has also created a prototype retail NFC scanner, which could be used by small business (think Main Street) to accept mobile payments. Apple may even subsidize the mobile payment device in order to help boost adoption by retailers.” Therefore, the key to adoption may be that the NFC proponents simply pay for the equipment to process payments and provide it to retailers at little or no cost. This will certainly act to ”prime the pump”. According to technology adoption expert Stuart Melling with website hosting company, the tipping point may arrive more quickly than first imagined: ”Often times the first few adopters of a new technology are seen as novelties. However, despite the novelty if a new technology is superior and the early adopters provide a demonstration of that fact – the other secondary adopters fall like dominoes.”

For further information you can read the full Information Week article here.

Categories : In the News
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Despite Hype, Server Virtualization DOA

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According to Garner research, in 2006 data center server utilization was around 18%. Which means that around 80% of all the servers in data centers around the world is either not used or simply used only part of the time. These numbers in fact helped spur on the virtualization movement that seemed like an unstoppable force, plowing across data centers leaving efficiency in its wake. But it was not too be. Now it’s 2010 and Gartner revisited its numbers to find that server utilization is still at 18%.

So what went wrong? Well one could say that it was due to a lack of funds, but that is not entirely true. What the main reason ends up being is something that has plagued the computer industry since its inception, companies just don’t want to take the plunge. Another side of the issue is poor updating of software. A great many software applications that cover such things as order processing and ERP are not written for virtual environments. Therefore, tracking performance and finding availability problems is difficult.

Services that have been virtualized include email, websites, and test servers, but these contribute very little when it comes to business usage of server hardware. In each case though, we see that these applications have been built to be optimized in virtual environments and, in most cases, they are all important, but not mission critical.

Indeed, it would seem that until more IT systems are written to fully utilize virtualization environments we may  never see the virtualization movement take root. However, this does seem to be one of the reasons for the increase in the dedicated server hosting space.

Categories : In the News
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The Dallas Cowboys are having a hard season. Not only has the team begun with a dismal record of 1 win versus 7 losses, they have had to dismiss their head coach Wade Phillips which will no doubt disrupt any sense of continuity the team had.

To add insult to injury, the team organization apparently ‘forgot’ to renew the Cowboys domain name for the team’s official site: According to the publicly available whois records, the domain name was originally registered on November 3, 1995 to the registrant, ‘Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Ltd’. According to the Dallas Morning News, the specific email address administrative contact was for Jerry Jones Jr., son of owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer for the team.

You can see the holding page that was up until Tuesday November 9, 2010 below:

Cowboys Expired Domain Screenshot

After the calamity, the domain was showing as being registered through November 2, 2020. Maybe they should set up a reminder on the team calendar or something…

Here is some advice from companies that understand renewing domains.
UK domain name registrar and dedicated server provider has tens of thousands of domains under management after a decade of domain registrations. The technical staff with the firm offered up an important piece of advice for securing your domain: make sure your email contacts for the accounts are up to date. Domains are tied to email addresses of the registrants, and notifications of expiration and renewal are sent through these email addesses as well. If your email connected with the domain registration isn’t reachable – then you will have problems renewing.

Lou Honick is CEO at HostMerchantServices and has helped thousands of domain registrants. Mr. Honick states, ”Your domain name is the most important piece of online property you own. Business owners should not take chances and not rely on remembering to renew yearly. Even if your registrar offers auto-renewal, there are many things that can go wrong, like credit card expiration, or a new credit card number from a lost or stolen card. You can and should renew your domain for the maximum time possible. It is a small investment for peace of mind and the prevention of embarrassing mishaps.”

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Superb Introduces cPanel’s Enkompass

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Superb Internet, a venerated web host providing dedicated server hosting as well as hosting in the virtual community, is one of the first in the market to add cPanel’s groundbreaking Enkompass control panel for Windows to its service line. Enkompass is the first and only Windows web hosting control panel with the wide-ranging features and intuitive interface of cPanel/WHM.

“Enkompass is truly a game changer—this caliber of power, performance, and flexibility has only been available for Linux users until this point,” says William Song, Senior Product Manager at Superb Internet, “Because we constantly evaluate our product line to bring our clients the latest tools to help grow their businesses, we have been eagerly anticipating the release of Enkompass and are proud to add it as a Superb service offering.”

He adds that fans of the Linux-compatible version of the control panel will find the Windows version very familiar: “The consistency of features is quite impressive, and there are even some Windows-only elements with Enkompass. We’re excited that our Windows-based clients can now take advantage of cPanel’s unmatched performance and security, reporting functions, lowered support costs, and all the many other valuable benefits Linux-based users have raved about for so long.”

A leading innovator of web hosting software for more than 10 years, cPanel built Enkompass in native Windows® technologies employing a user-based approach for supreme flexibility and ease of use while retaining the extensive features of the company’s Linux-compatible control panel. Enkompass was made available in June and operates with Microsoft IIS7 and Windows Server 2008.

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Superb Rachets Up Network

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Long time dedicated server hosting provider Superb Internet announced adding four additional GigE circuits in its network infrastructure, boosting the performance, speed, and redundancy of the company’s nationwide network of data centers and core backbone sites.

Superb Internet’s fully redundant and fault tolerant coast-to-coast network is one of the company’s featured proprietary technologies—and enables Superb to offer an industry-leading 100% uptime guarantee. With the addition of the four circuits, located in Superb’s DC-area data centers (DCA2 and DCA3), additional uninterrupted routes between data centers and IP backbone sites are now available—connecting DCA2 (McLean, VA) directly to CHI1 (Chicago, IL), PAO1 (Palo Alto, CA), and SEA2 (Seattle, WA); and adding a second circuit between DCA3 (Springfield, VA) and IAD1 (Ashburn, VA) through new partner Intellifiber, a premier network technology-solutions provider.

The new network upgrades adds a surprising amount of flexibility and reliability. When asked about their network upgrades Haralds Jass, Superb Internet’s President, Founder, & CEO, said, “We truly live our motto, ‘Ahead of the Rest.’ Our commitment to our valued clients is to keep ahead of the curve in providing superlative service, performance, and reliability. Consistently assessing and updating our network—such as our investment in adding these four new circuits—is proof positive of our dedication to that goal.”

Categories : In the News
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