Welcome to www.ircd-ratbox.org
Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover
Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad.
Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily.
Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams.
A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'.
A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path.
Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy.
That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place.
And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later.
One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem.
Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine.
The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.
Copyright Infringement Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else?s work, it?s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others? works ? as long as we use it under ?fair use? laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it? Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library. Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life Sometimes, if you?re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone?s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask ? the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement. What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement? Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain ? you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able ? such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain. So, how do I ensure I?m not committing copyright infringement? First of all, if you?re going to use someone else?s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else?s copyright. However, if you can?t find something suitable (and you can?t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder. When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for ? whether it?s for your blog, podcast, or report ? and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you?ll be free and clear to use their work as you want. Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit ? which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you?re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you?re following the law ? and protect yourself!
News is News All Over the World (writing newspaper articles) Writing newspaper articles is a fun and interesting line of work. Newspapers exist in big cities, small towns, within corporations and on college campuses. Newspapers are printed for special interest groups as well as for world and national news. There are free newspapers and papers that appear for sale on newsstands every day. With such a large variety of newspaper types printed, there are myriads of possible opportunities for writing newspaper articles. There are some basic rules to writing articles for any newspaper and there are also some specific aspects to know about each type. Writing Newspaper Articles In general, to write a newspaper article there are a few rules that apply across the board. First, the news has to be relevant. Because newspapers make up a genre of writing that is constantly refreshing itself, there is no room for common knowledge or historical pieces. The exception is if those kinds of writing serve to connect to a current issue or event. People who read newspapers want to know what?s happening now. For that reason, writing newspaper articles often involves relatively high pressure to get the latest news written each and every day. There are some low-pressure possibilities in writing newspaper articles though. The Infrequent Print Several newspapers are only printed weekly or even monthly. In small towns that must get their papers printed off-site, it is not feasible to create a paper each and every day. That means that there?s a week, every week, to get the news in and written. Another example of low pressure writing for newspapers is working for a free publication. Free newspapers are often geared to a special interest group. Since that group is not paying for its paper, they may only receive the interesting tidbits once a month. Writing for these kinds of newspapers becomes focused on creativity and niche writing because the current events will have already reached the audience through more frequent publications. The Daily News from Top to Bottom The most reliable and frequent publications are those of big, national newspapers. The staffs are very large and are able to print very clean copies of very full newspapers. By clean, that means without errors. Smaller papers are also printed daily, but they seem almost insignificant except to the people of the local community. They receive national news second hand and run very small staffs. Interestingly enough, none of these daily papers are really about the news. Of course that is where most of the effort lies and that is the reason that people buy the papers, but it is not the root of a newspaper. Writing newspaper articles is a job heavily dependent on the advertising industry. A newspaper will only be as large as there are ads to pay for it. Newspapers do not make their money at the newsstand. They pay the bills and the employees with money from advertisers. On Campus News Working for a university paper will not be representative in the area of newspaper advertising. While some businesses do pay for ads in university papers, the funding comes from the school. If for some reason there were no advertisers one day, the paper would still go out. University publications are much more focused on the development of the students than making a successful business. Most campus papers are free and are created by students. School is a great place to get started in writing newspaper articles. The environment is challenging, but nurturing at the same time. The deadlines and standards still exist, but the writer gets great encouragement and training through the work. After working for a college paper, it will be much easier to get a job with newspapers of the cities and towns. Writing newspaper articles can be a great job. There are so many opportunities to get into writing that it is hard to pass them up. Some jobs may be very difficult to get, but others will be steps towards increasing writing success.
Want Free Baby Stuff? Visit Favorite Baby Company Websites Are you, or someone you know, expecting? Impending motherhood is a very exciting, but often stressful transition, and also quite an expensive transition. When it comes to becoming a parent, the expenses can often seem overwhelming. But did you know that there are many freebies aimed specifically at the expecting couple? Here are some ways to find the best free baby stuff. General Tips for Getting the Best Free Baby Stuff If you are already familiar with baby companies or have your own favorite baby products, you will find that you can probably finagle some baby freebies. Your first step is to check the website for your favorite baby products company. Many baby product companies will give you a free sample, or other fine freebies, from your favorites. Sign up for baby products company newsletters. Put your name on their mailing list. This is an easy way to receive coupons, special offers, and yes, freebies, from your favorite baby products manufacturer. Get the Latest and Greatest in Free Baby Products from BabyCenter Do you wish you could find a website dedicated especially to finding the latest and greatest in free baby products? If so, you will definitely want to check out BabyCenter. This website features a library of freebie offers directed especially to the expectant parent. Check under Free Stuff and Great Deals for the best freebies, as well as the best in baby product coupons. One of the best things about the BabyCenter website is that it offers you the ability to search according to age or stage of your pregnancy. There is information and freebies for mothers who just learned they are pregnant to toddler parents or mother of young children. A Great Place to Find Free Baby Stuff If you are looking for a website that offers you some of the greatest and latest freebie deals in the baby department, check out Babiesonline.com. This website offers a whole section dedicated to free baby stuff. Here you will find a compendium of some of the best free baby websites. You will also find a link to free baby product samples. You will also find an offer for free pregnancy wristbands. Other free baby offers include free baby photo prints, free baby coupons and you can even sign up for the latest baby freebie alerts so that you never miss out on another great baby freebie. Looking for More Great Baby Freebies? If you still don't have your fill of great baby freebies, here are some more great places to find the best in baby freebies. The website babytobee.com offers many fine resources for the expectant father, including a collection of baby freebies. This is an also a great website to learn more about baby products and equipment. There are a whole section of free baby products, and you can even register for your own personal baby page. Count Down to Baby Time with Free Baby Web Resources Are you blogging your way to parenthood, or simply keeping a family page where you can relate the latest news of your pregnancy with friends and family members? If so, you will be glad to hear that there are many baby web freebies to be had. Check out the Lilypie baby ticker, a free baby due date countdown clock that you can place prominently on your website. This is a fun and easy way to countdown to the expected due date. You can also find free baby blogs, free baby-themed web design features and web hosting services as well as free baby photo upload services. You can create your own online haven for welcoming your newborn into the world.