Friday, June 18, 2010

HTML5: The Future of Online Video?

If you pay attention to online video, chances are you’ve heard of HTML5. It could be the next big technology that will change online video as we know it. Apple’s Steve Jobs famously stated several weeks ago, in his "Thoughts on Flash" letter, that Apple prefers HTML5 video to Adobe’s Flash technology. But what does HTML5 video mean to ecommerce sites? Is it something to embrace, or just another fad?

HTML5 Video: What Merchants Need to Know

What makes HTML5 video special is that it’s built in to the next version of HTML, dubbed “HTML5.” (See "What is HTML 5," published earlier at Practical eCommerce, for an overview.) Just as today’s HTML standard allows websites to add images to a web page through a simple  tag, HTML5 allows web sites to add videos to a website using a 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Copyright Trolls Threaten Your Ecommerce Business

Your website most likely has pictures on it. It might also have video as part of the design or to help in the sale of products. The use of these items is necessary to show your customers what the product looks like or the product’s functions. However, all too often the source of the pictures or video is not properly documented. This opens the door for “Copyright Trolls," a term that is used to describe a company or individual that buys up the copyrights to works and then engages in a campaign to try to profit from possible infringement through intimidating demand letters.
This term does not refer to someone who is making legitimate claims for use of a photo that may have been copied from a website illegally. The two typical types of Copyright Trolls are (1) those who try to scam people by intentionally putting their works out on the Internet as “free” and then later demand money for their use, and (2) those who purchase another company’s rights (usually a company that owns a large amount of copyrights in photos) and sends out blanket demand letters to all those using the photos to see if they can prove that they paid to use the photos or videos. Some schemes may be legal and some are done through misrepresentation.

What Do the Trolls Hope to Obtain?

Money, of course. A typical demand letter will ask for $1,500 to $2,500 because it will probably cost more than that to hire a lawyer to fight the claims. Owners of registered copyrights have very strong rights to recover damages and the Copyright Troll is betting that you did not carefully document where the photos or video came from and what your terms of use are for those items. Registered copyright owners' damages are not limited to just the actual damages that they can prove. The statute allows them to collect damages in the amount of $7,500 to $30,000 per work as the court may determine, even if you did not intend to infringe the owner’s rights. If the use is determined to be intentional, then the award of damages can be increased up to $50,000 per work. Also, the copyright owner is entitled to recover his or her attorney fees for suing you, which can add a significant amount to the damage award. These trolls use this statutory language to intimidate people into paying the lesser amount they demand.

How Do You Protect Your Website from Copyright Claims?

Document all photographs and video used on the website, including all photos used in Flash. All photos and video used in the design of your website need to be documented, even if only portions of a photo or video are used or if they have been altered during the development process. You should list all information about that photo or video, including where the photos came from, the photographer, the date you first used the photo or video, the terms of your use of the photo or video (your license agreement) and the date the license expires. You should print out and file all your license agreements in one location and make note of the photo or video to which each license agreement applies.


If you hire someone to take photos or video for you, you need to document the transfer of the rights to you and the terms of your use of such items. Under copyright law, the photographer owns the copyright interests unless those rights are transferred in writing. Therefore, if an independent contractor creates something for you, you must either obtain a license agreement to use it or obtain an assignment of the ownership rights in the photo or video. Each item should be carefully documented and filed so that if you receive a demand letter you are prepared to defend their claims.

Prebuilt Ecommerce Templates Save Money, Says AlgoZone's CEO

Ecommerce merchants frequently incur development fees to obtain specific features or appearances for their websites. But there are also prebuilt templates that can do this, at prices much less than custom-built solutions. One maker of these is AlgoZone. It offers hundreds of ready-made templates for, mainly, open source ecommerce platforms. Its CEO is Pavel Rojkov, and he recently discussed his template solutions with us.
Practical eCommerce: Your company, AlgoZone, produces ready-made templates for ecommerce websites. Tell us, what is a template?
Pavel Rojkov
Pavel Rojkov

Pavel Rojkov: "The ecommerce templates that our company provides are a quick and cost-efficient way to adapt a given shopping cart application with a professional storefront design. The template is a graphic site design integrated into the template system or the given ecommerce application. The template design and development process usually includes the creation of overall design, site navigation, and it also includes product presentation within the templates. Templates are often confused with the complete shopping cart solution. That is why the templates are designed and developed to be integrated and brought into the specific shopping cart or ecommerce platform like osCommerce, for example. The other important point to mention that with a template, clients generally save about 10 times of the cost because the templates that you buy from us cost around $150, and are available for immediate download. Compare that to the brand-new cost of up to $2,000 and weeks to develop."
PEC: How many ecommerce-related templates do you offer?
Rojkov: "We should have about 1,000 currently. But we constantly add new ones and discontinue old ones. We also sell templates exclusively, which means the client comes in and purchases a template, and we agree to remove it from the site. Our templates support about five shopping carts at the moment."
PEC: You mentioned osCommerce earlier. Give us an example of a an osCommerce template that you sell to ecommerce merchants.
Rojkov: "I could give you an example of a sportswear or sneaker business, for example. You would select the template. We have categorized designs based on the theme or the product line that you're using. So, you would pick a template for the sportswear or the sneaker business and you can pretty much focus on many things. One of them would be you look at the overall main page presentation. Some templates can have dynamic slide shows, where you can put your featured products or your key products.
"There's also the availability of refined search features, where you can search products by keyword or by attribute, such as color, size of the sneaker, and brand. So, that's pretty much a brief description of what it could be."
PEC: You mentioned five carts that you work with. What are those?
Rojkov: "With a large number of shopping cart solutions available nowadays, it's really difficult to provide for all of them. That's why we pre-selected five most popular and stable shopping carts. They are osCommerceZen CartOpenCartMagento, and CRE Loaded."
PEC: Are those all open source platforms?
Rojkov: "All of them are free except CRE Loaded. It has both a free version and a paid one."
PEC: Let's say I am a merchant and I have a Magento cart. I sell sneakers or running shoes and I go to your site, I see a template that I like, and I buy it and download it. I'm not a developer; I'm a merchant. What do I do after I download it?
Rojkov: "There are a number of ways to go. We provide video instructions on how to install. With Magento, we developed a tool that allows you to install templates more efficiently. It comes along with the template. So, if you view the instructions in the video, it will give you the basics of how to open the archive that you download from our website and how to upload it to your site. After that, you can go to the admin of Magento and enable the template."
PEC: How many merchants use your templates?
Rojkov: "It's hard to say. We sell in excess of 3,000 templates a year, but we have a lot of custom requests, which are done separately."
PEC: Merchants can buy your templates and download them immediately. If they have questions, can they call your company?
Rojkov: "Yes. We have support for any questions related to the template purchased. We actually go beyond helping with the template. In a lot of cases, we also help with the cart itself. But can't really take the responsibility of the cart, but we do help clients with a lot of issues that they have, and we also help them with custom developing extensions."
PEC: Tell us a little bit about AlgoZone When did you launch the company?
Rojkov: "We started the business in 2003. When we started it, we only supported two shopping carts, which was Interchange and one more that is no longer available. We also supported osCommerce and, since then, we grew to all five carts that I mentioned. In addition to that, we developed quite a few modules to shopping carts.
"We also launched, about four years ago, our fraud screen service, which helps clients protect from fraudulent orders and warns them upfront. The reason we released the fraud service is because there were large numbers of fraud that were coming to our own site. We also released iPhone templates just a little under a year ago."
PEC: So, you do have iPhone templates?
Rojkov: "Yes. In fact, we are planning to develop templates for all mobile devices. So, that's something that will be coming in the future."

this article source is from here

Thursday, June 10, 2010

E-Commerce on e-bay

The Internet has created a new economic ecosystem, the e-commerce marketplace, and it has become the virtual main street of the world. Providing a quick and convenient way of exchanging goods and services both regionally and globally, e-commerce has boomed. Today, e-commerce has grown into a huge industry with US online retail generating $175B in revenues in 2007,[1] with consumer-driven (B2C) online transactions impacting industries from travel services to consumer electronics, from books and media distribution to sports & fitness. With more than 70% of Americans using the Internet on a daily basis for private and/or business use and the rest of the world also beginning to catch on, e-commerce's global growth curve is not likely to taper off anytime soon. However, the US recession has taken its toll on online sales. Although early 2008 estimates by Forrester Research were very strong with 2008 revenues upwards of $204B (a 17% growth rate),[2] 2008 holiday sales showed the first decrease in the last 7 years. Research by ComScore shows sales declining by 1% for the first 49 days of the holiday season.[3]
In the last decade, many startup e-commerce companies have rapidly stolen market share from traditional retailers and service providers, pressuring these established traditional players to deploy their own commerce websites or to alter company strategy in retaliation. This effect is most pronounced in travel services and consumer electronics. According to comScore, online leisure travel bookings reached about $51B in 2005, or 44% of all online sales, which were around $122B in the same year. Roughly 30% of all travel bookings currently occur online. Consumer electronics, which includes the purchase of digital cameras, mobile phones, and home PC's, accounted for nearly $26B of worldwide e-commerce sales occurring in 2006, according to the NPD Group. As traditional brick and mortar firms continue to lose market share to e-commerce players, they will likely see continued declines in their revenues, operating margins, and profits. It is important to note that most e-commerce players are at a competitive advantage to retailers. They have lower operating expenses and better inventory management due to operating in a virtual commerce environment. For example, (AMZN) has revenue per employee of nearly $850k while its retail counterpart, Best Buy (BBY), generates revenue per employee of only $270k. Clearly, e-commerce vendors will have the most to gain if they successfully disrupt retail customer acquisition, disintermediate distributors/resellers, and under-price retail establishments. As a consequence of e-commerce vendor gains, financial transaction processors and parcel shipping companies are among ancillary vendors who will gain.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Money Transactions

There are many ways to complete money transactions online. If you already have an established Web site that your clients know you will probably want to keep it and add an e-commerce solution into it. If you do not have an e-commerce Web site you may consider e-commerce solutions offered by major online sites such as Yahoo, Amazon, and Google with little to no Web design experience needed. (Enter "commerce solutions" in the search box.) Online auction sites such as eBay, Yahoo, Google and MSN might also offer additional avenues for your business. Consider hiring and or consulting with an experienced Web designer or firm to set this up for you. Their experience can often save you time, money, and unnecessary aggravation.
 E Commerce 
Setting it all up
E-commerce software often requires setting up a merchant account as well as establishing a payment gateway provider. A merchant account is a specialized bank account setup by a bank that allows you to accept credit cards. A payment gateway charges your customers' credit cards via the Internet and sends the funds to your merchant account. The payment gateway acts as the bridge between the merchant's Web site and the financial institutions that process transactions. Payment data is collected online from the shopper and submitted to the gateway for real-time authorization.
Several companies such as, offer various credit card transaction packages. A great start would be to try your local bank. Many banks now partner with E-commerce payment gateway solutions and can help you in most cases.
E-commerce Considerations
  • Per Cyber Source Corporation, online fraudsters took $3 billion out of e-commerce in 2006. Most companies provide at least basic forms of fraud protection.
  • Be sure to take into account all your costs such as monthly e-commerce fees, packaging costs, shipping costs, time, etc.
  • For internet based orders and shipping you should check with your state's board of equalization office to determine the appropriate sales tax. Our Small Business Tax Center provides valuable links to tax information from the IRS.
 Shopping Cart 
Alternative methods of online payments:
Cash payments are less advanced but easier to set up. Funds are transferred from the buyer's bank account or credit card to the seller's account. This is similar to writing someone a check but much more secure and easier to track. Since no taxes or shipping costs are required, there is no need for shopping carts to manage the information.
Below is a list of some of the more popular and well-known forms of "cash payment" systems.

Technology and You: Remembering Who's the Boss

The technologies we now use nearly every waking moment of the day are meant to improve our lives, but that only happens when they're used correctly. There are plenty of social and psychological consequences to the misuse of technology, and often the result is a loss of focus and efficiency. Keep in mind who's in charge -- that's you, not the gadget.

Today, technology is wonderfully ubiquitous. It runs our electric grids, keeps planes from crashing into one another, and puts the most treasured asset of all, information, at our fingertips. Yes, we are extremely fortunate that knowledge (information) is so easy to get and so easy to transfer and pass on to others.

There was a time when the only feasible research on many projects had to be performed in the bowels of libraries or academia. Not so today. The discerning researcher can very often get access to needed information simply by sitting at his/her laptop, connecting to the Internet, and ferreting out all kinds of data.

Communicating is far easier today. A cellphone that we might carry in our pocket (or stick in our ear) can put us in touch with people all over the world. The transference of files is now seamless. Tons of files, including multimedia files, can be gathered and sent throughout our planet.

So, one might ask, what are the negatives to having such amazing technology so available?

When Technology Works Against You

Obviously, I am not a Luddite, the word given to those early nineteenth-century artisans who were railing against the industrial revolution out of fear that it might take their jobs from them. I am not reviling the computer revolution. It is both amazing and astonishing, and I believe that it will continue to astonish and surprise us in years to come.

I have two main concerns about what the misuse of technology is doing to us as a society and as workers in that society. In these two areas, I think that some of us are becoming slaves to technology and are abandoning our rightful places as masters of it. The two areas most affected are social and psychological.

Social Consequences to the Misuse of Technology

Too often I see people of all ages behaving rudely because they are so obsessively dependent on their cellphones. They interrupt conversations to take a call, disturb theatrical performances by forgetting (we hope) to turn their cellphones off, text at inappropriate times, and generally become slaves to their electronic devices. What should be the slave, technology, has become the master, and we have morphed into mindless gerbils entrapped in an infinitely spinning loop. This isn't the way technology was meant to assist us.

If the social consequences of some of us becoming slaves to technology aren't enough, let's take a look at how such behavior damages our focus, thus effectively limiting our work, or social, output.

Psychological Consequences of Misusing Technology

Many people I know like to talk about how they have to multi-task to get through the day. They feel the need to obsessively check their e-mail while working. They interrupt meetings and conversations by taking a cellphone call at inappropriate times. They feel compelled to drop whatever they are doing in order to instantly respond to a text message.

Sadly, so many people see these interruptions as necessary. I see them as lost opportunities to stay focused on the job (or social interaction) at hand, thus extending the time that it would ordinarily take to complete a given task. What many would respond is that they are actually being more efficient -- they are multi-tasking.

However, all of the studies that I have read tell me that there really is no such thing as multi-tasking. Such behavior is counterproductive because it at the least results in lengthening the time in which to complete a task and at the worst results in errors that could otherwise have been avoided. In short, this type of behavior is working against your productivity and effectiveness and can do damage to your work or social life. Those involved in such counterproductive behavior have effectively allowed themselves to become slaves to our wonderful technology and have forfeited their role of being masters of technology.

Remedies to the Misuse of Technology

It is quite difficult to draw up a litany of sure-fire remedies that will break the addictive bonds that technology can create. Approaches that work for some people might not work for others. I recently read that some businesses are insisting that their employees be allowed to check their e-mails, or their text messages, only at certain times of the day -- this frees them up to calmly and intently focus on the job at hand.

Some individuals and families who are using the social networking site Facebook set aside a slot of time during the week when they will be "Facebook free." That is, they will not check what's going on in their Facebook space during an allotted space of time.

Of course, there are parents who feel that they must be constantly connected in case an emergency arises with their children. There are several solutions to this dilemma, one of which is that they give an emergency contact number to someone who might have to contact them. That emergency number could be that of the operator at your place of business. There are many other ways by which we can put up a "firewall" around us that allows us to apply a laser-like focus on our work while still allowing certain people to be able to penetrate this firewall under certain circumstances.

The net result of protecting yourself from "too much technology" is that your life will be calmer, more focused, and obviously more productive. If we watched geniuses like Bill Gates focus on a problem or answer a reporter's question, we would see a detached soul with Herculean and single-minded focus, undistracted by some of the very technology that he was instrumental in creating.

Looking Forward to the Ever-Emerging Benefits of Technology.

I tried out a Kindle reader recently and I was extremely impressed. Here is a device much thinner than the average paperback novel that can store hundreds of books. Not too long ago, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced the creation of the iPad. This new device will further empower us in our never-ending search for information. We'll be surfing the Internet, choosing one of our favorite books or doing a host of other amazing tasks, some of which will be interactive, thanks to the genius of the people of Apple.

Technology has unlimited potential and will no doubt provide us with many wonderful surprises in the not-too-distant future. We just have to remember who's in charge, the electronic device or we. Good luck!

source from here

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

google mail themes awsome !

if you already know the background display Gmail themes that can be changed in some time? yes, not a lot of mail server providers like this. final later that I realized that his themes may vary.just look at screenshots below!

The following are some books I recommend you see if you are really interested in several tricks to use google mail or gmail. you can see by click this link.
Hacking GMail (ExtremeTech) 
Google Gmail 
Gmail for the Computer Shy - Windows Vista Edition