HTML graphics. It’s a real balancing act that isn’t always easy to pull off. Let’s face it. Web pages that are all text are simply boring to look at. It’s like reading the obituaries in the newspaper. So graphics really come in handy when trying to spruce up your site a bit. The problem is that graphics, or more specially graphic files, can be very large and take lots of time to load up on a page. If you have too many graphics or if the graphics you have chosen are large, the visitor may lose patience waiting for the page to load. The end result is that you’ve lost your audience anyway because they have moved on. So how do you strike a balance between a dull looking web page and one that takes forever to load? We’ll go over a few things you can do about this problem in this article.

The first, and easiest thing to do is to simply not use too many graphics files on your site. Sometimes it only takes one or two carefully placed graphics files on a page to capture a visitors attention, especially if you have a page with news items. Sometimes just one photos of the subject of the news item, say a personality, is all that is needed next to the news text. If the news article itself goes beyond the first page you can maybe add another photo relating to the item on the next page. This will continue to keep the visitors attention by providing him with some visuals.

The next thing you can do, if you really need to have several photos on a page, is to cut down on the size of each graphic. A graphic file is composed of pixels and is represented size wise in bytes. The more bytes in a graphic file the larger the file is and the longer it will take to load on a page. Most graphics programs allow you to reduce file size by compressing them, which is done by taking away some of the graphics detail, or some of the pixels. With practice, you can take enough detail from a file so that the loss of detail is virtually undetectable by the human eye and yet at the same time reduce a 64,000 byte graphics file to a 32,000 byte graphic file and thus reducing the load time in half. If you have quite a few photos on the page this can make a big difference.

Another thing you can do is use graphic files, called gif files, that can load in such a way where the photo gradually displays on the screen as it loads so that the visitor can see that there will be a photo there after the file completes loading.

One thing web designers sometimes forget is that some browsers don’t display graphic files correctly or at all. To allow for this possibility as a web designer, when coding your HTML, you should include what is called alternate text in your image source tag so that if the visitor can’t view graphics they can see that something is supposed to be there.

Another thing you should do is make sure your photos are properly framed on the page. If you want borders around your photos make sure you include a borders=1 tag on your image source file.

Finally, make sure you include the height and width options in your image source tags. What this does is make it so that the HTML code provides for an exact area for the photo even before it loads. This helps speed up loading time because of how memory is managed.

By following the above tips and procedures you can make your visitor’s viewing experience of you web site a most enjoyable one.


Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to HTML []


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One of the fastest growing fields is that of robotics. In 2006 this trend will continue as it continues to get a financial boost from military research and development funds, as well as orders for new equipment. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV robotic aircraft have been one of the fastest growing robotic sectors, partly due to the changing battlespace and Future Fighting Force Military Roadmaps, but also largely due to logistical issues, Iraqi Freedom and the surveillance needs in the War on Terror.

Also leading the field in robotics is a push from NASA, which extends all the way down to the elementary and high school level with contests, which challenge our youth to think outside the box and come up with new innovations. After our 2005 Hurricane Season robotics were also discovered to have extremely useful advantages in search and rescue and environmental remediation. Again in the Pakistan quake robots were employed to look for survivors.

In 2006 we will see a trend of better-designed robots from companies such as iRobot, as the robotics market touches the consumers in their own homes. In manufacturing, warehousing and logistics there is little areas where robotics will not cut costs and thus help corporations with increased efficiency, increased shareholder value and increased year over year net profits.

One emerging trend is prosthetic devices and the integration of man and machine, as these devices end up closer to the “Six Million Dollar Man” than any potential hardship or handicap for the individual. We will see much more of this in 2006 and the consumers, businesses and government will continue to look towards robotics to solve the most important issues which challenge mankind. Think on it; think robotics.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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2005 has been an incredible year for robotics, with the iRobot going public and the use of surveillance robots in the War on Terror. Indeed we have seen in 2005 a car drive fully autonomously through the desert over 200 miles with no driver or remote control in the Famous DARPA Grand Challenge Part II. In 2005 robots assisted in the Pakistan Earthquake to search for survivors and also after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when there was no way for anyone to get through. Still we see robotics in that region monitoring lake water quality and assisting in environmental controls.

Will 2006 be a repeat in the robotics industry as these trends continue. Yes, this will be the case but there will be a quickening of the pace. Not only here on Earth but also in another race, that is to say the race for space. Robotics will become the tool of choice for monitoring our Space Assets, Repairs and building of the Lunar Colony. Robots will become smarter using the latest artificial intelligence, thus be much more suited to serve us as a helping hand. Not only at home entertaining our pets and vacuuming the house, mowing the lawn or fetching us a cold one from the fridge, but also assisting us in driving our cars, running our railroads and flying our planes.

Luckily for us we are already bringing up the next generation of robotic scientists to assist us in our robotic future. There are contests going on all over the United States in Grade School, High School and Colleges to build better, more capable and smarter robotic systems. This will help us with new innovations in every human endeavor from healthcare to public safety and to new Worlds as mankind reaches out to boldly go. Think on this.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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In this article on HTML we’re going to discuss HTML forms, why they’re important and how to use them effectively in plain English so everyone can understand their use.

One of the most important things about any web site that you’ll put together is to be able to collect information from your visitors, either for the purpose of sending them news of your products or services in future emails, or for the direct purpose of processing orders, in which case you would need things like name and address for shipping purposes. In order to gather this information HTML makes use of forms.

A form in HTML is pretty similar to a form that one would see in the offline world, such as when you’re filling out an application for employment or a loan. On these forms you would most likely include your name, social security number, address and a variety of information depending on what the form itself is used for. With HTML, which is what makes up a web page, the form is not written in but typed in by the visitor. The typed information can be input in a variety of ways depending on the form element itself. We’re going to cover the most common form elements.

The main form command in HTML is the form tag. This tag is where you designate the form name, how the form itself will behave and what the form will do after it processes the information. In most cases forms will take the information and either pass it along to another web page or write the information to a database to keep for future reference.

The most common way to gather information with a form is with the use of the text box. This is a variable length one line rectangular area where the visitor types information such as name and address. Usually a separate text box is used for each individual piece of information. In other words, there will be one text box for first name and another text box for last name and so on. This way each piece of information can be easily written to a database or another page.

Another common way to gather info is the text area box. This is similar to the text box except it can be multiple rows deep. A box like this is usually used to collect information like comments or what is referred to as additional information. Text area boxes are very useful for when a visitor to a site is submitting something like an article for publication which can be many paragraphs long. Text area boxes make this information easy to read.

Another common way to gather info is with drop down box. This is where a visitor chooses from a list of options such as picking what state he or she lives in. Many sites use these instead of having the visitor type in the state manually. This assures that a valid state is chosen.

There are many other form elements to cover which we’ll do in future articles in this series.


Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to HTML []

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Artificial Intelligent machines, computers and robotic systems made some ground in 2005, as they continued to amaze the masses. Except for the year that Big Blue beat the World Chess Champion; 2005 was the year of artificial intelligence, as start-up companies found niches in business, military, space and consumer markets. In 2005 artificial intelligence software programs began to show the world that “Artificial Intelligence” may not be an oxymoron after all; despite what its critics and detractors believe. Currently we have artificial intelligent systems doing surveillance, running vehicles and using decision matrix software to make choices based on pre-programmed best case scenarios. Such systems are commonly found in CRM software, virtual reality systems and hybrid decision making computer command and control systems.

What will artificial intelligence systems be able to do in 2006? Artificial intelligent systems will be able to predict human desire and intent based on previous deviations and choices you have previously made. For instance your GPS system will start alerting you at 10:10 AM that a Starbucks is within in one-quarter mile, knowing it is time for your morning cup of coffee. Your cell phone will alert you of your favorite sandwich shop at 1:11 PM only one block away, it will know that if it is more than two-blocks away that you will not wish to walk that far.

When you turn on the radio on the way home from work depending on the time your stereo system will automatically give you your most likely three choices and if you fail to choose it will select the best possible appropriate song for you at that time. Yes, artificial intelligence will soon be a way of life, it will adjust and remember preference and even choose chaos and select something you may not thought of based on preferences and deviances of past choices. Think about it, “It is!”

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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In the annals of history, mythology and fiction someone has always been assigned the arduous task of gatekeeper of information. In ancient Greece, sage sibyls like the Oracle of Delphi, Pythia veiled her revelations to those seeking the god, Apollo’s favor. To those who could glean approval from the seer’s sacerdotal message, victory and conquest were assured. Advantageous information is there if you know where to look, this is data’s potential weak point, its Achilles heel, and it’s called meta data.

Meta data is literally “data about data”, it’s information that describes another set of data that provides information about or documentation of other data managed within an application or environment (1). The metadata information is stored within each file created.

Computer software from Microsoft Office applications like Word and Outlook to the widely used graphics programs of Adobe CS’s Version Cue and Adobe Bridge capture this meta data information to track document use. Metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted.

It tracks the authors, machines, and versions of Office used to create a document. Many collaboration features, including comments and revision tracking, result in significant amounts of metadata being included in documents (2).

Metadata is essential for understanding information stored in data warehouses and has become increasingly important in XML-based Web applications. This automatically generated information is probably more than you or your business wants to disclose. For example, you create a job proposal template, this is sent out to each prospect only changing the client’s name and bid price. Each time this document is reused, each person receiving that over email could access the previous prospects information losing jobs to your firm.

The complexities of meta data are even more compounded in industries like legal, medical and financial fields where monetary fines are attached for intentionally or unintentionally sharing private information. Unintentional trade secrets amongst chemical or pharmaceutical companies could wash away time and research dollars invested in a project. Between a client and lawyer, leaked litigation information could derail court proceedings. Patient information on forms or diagnosis notes can be used for identity theft. Even your financial security is in jeopardy if your broker or financial planner is careless with the electronic files kept in their firm’s database.

Each of these potential weak points can be an open chink in your business’s armor. Preventing these weak points of data transmittal and arming your business intelligently allows you to lessen the impact of sharing documents with colleagues, clients and potential clients.

Even in ancient times the arena of commercial competition outlasting one’s rivals. The agoras (malls) of the ancient world were among the fist to take advantage of mass-marketing from carved walkways, signage on pillars and placing information kiosks all to out-do their competition. Security in the ancient world may have been a godly altar or burly man named Herakles (or Hercules).

Protection of intellectual property, creativity, and innovation today is as imperative as it was for the ancients. Success in business means not only creating a viable product or service, but also protecting innovations you business creates within that market.

Protecting your digital assets through digital rights management (DRM) software ensures the possibility of creating future business endeavors. With the growing number of trojans, viruses and malware, the need for a company to secure and control its digital assets is greater than ever before.

Small business entities are an integral part of the American and global commercial landscape and need to protect their creative capital:

  • Small Businesses produce 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
  • Employ half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.(3)

But how can a small or medium sized business invest in expensive ERM solutions? Rights management solutions can now be for small to medium-sized businesses or sole-proprietorships too. SBRM solutions provide businesses of a smaller scale an equal level of user rights management and encryption previously available to large corporations and enterprises. ERM or SBRM software gives content authors the power to determine how recipients may use their documents and email. For example, senders can prevent unauthorized distribution (no forwarding, printing) and prevent unauthorized editing (no cut, copy, paste) of content, i.e. copy prevention.

Sharing proposals, information, or other businesses assets no longer has to be one’s Achilles’ heel. This weak point can be strengthened and the integrity of a business is kept in tact through actively using Rights Management tools.

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End Notes:

1.) definition from

2.) Michael Silver, “Microsoft Office metadata: What you don’t see can hurt you,” Tech Republic, 4 March 2003 [].

3.) Small Business Administration (SBA),SBA Office of Advocacy Frequently Asked Questions Document “How important are small businesses,”, October, 2005, 1.

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Ms. Veniegas is an alumni of the University of Washington Marilee joined the Marketing team at Essential Security Software, Inc []. in 2005. She also serves as one of the ESS site editors for I Want My ESS []! a stolen work and Small/Medium Business (SMB) resource site.

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Blu-Ray technology is the next generation of optical disc format developed by the Blu-Ray Disc Association(BDA) and major developers of consumer electronics, computers, and media manufacturers around the globe. The technology will enable consumers to store large amount of data (5 to 6 times more than DVD), record/rewrite digital content, and watch high definition videos via Blu-Ray devices. The Blu-Ray disc comes in two types: Single layer disc which will be introduced first in the market and dual layer disc which will follow near future. The single layer can hold up to 25 GB of data which equates to about 2 hours of recording/playing time of digital content on HDTV and 13 hours of non-digital content from a regular television. The dual layer disc will hold data up to 50 GB and it will be mainly utilized for gaming (PS3) and entertainment purpose.

Red Vs Blue

The current optical disc technology such as DVD utilizes red laser to read and write data however, the Blu-Ray technology uses blue- violate laser to read and write and thus the name “Blu-Ray” was born. The difference between the red laser and blue laser is quite distinctive: First, the wavelength of a blue-violate laser is shorter (405nm) than the red laser (650nm). Second, the numerical aperture has been improved to 0.85. The shorter length of a blue-violate laser leads to focus of a laser spot with tremendous accuracy which makes it possible to pack more data into a disc size of DVD and CD. Moreover, the numerical aperture represents a unit-less measure of the ability of a lens to gather and focus light and the higher number closer to 1, the greater the focusing power and the smaller the laser spot. The current optical disc DVD’s numerical aperture ranges from .50 to .65 compared to the Blu-Ray’s numerical aperture of .85 making it a huge improvement over the existing optical disc technology.

Blu-Ray: Next Standard?

Lately, the technology industry has seen an explosive demand for the HDTV and consumer’s desire to record high definition content from HDTV is also rising fast. Furthermore, U.S government is also looking into standardization and convergence of digital television and eventually replacing non-digital television due to many benefits. The Blu-Ray technology was created out of necessity to meet the new demand and to set a new standard in the field of optical disc. This technology supports direct recording of the MPEG-2 TS (Transport Stream) which is used by many digital broadcasters globally. In other words, digital content from HDTV can be recorded directly to the disc without compromising quality and extraneous processing power. Also, the Blu-Ray uses ultra fast 36 Mbps data transfer rate to complement the large amount of data required for high definition content. This fast rate is more than sufficient to record and playback HDTV while maintaining the original picture quality. It is very possible to watch playback video and record HD video at the same time through the use of random access feature the Blu-Ray technology offers.

Time will tell

Many heated debate ensued over whether the Blu-Ray technology will replace DVD and prevail in the battle against arch nemesis HD-DVD. However, with the strong support of numerous industry leaders and positive outlooks from industry analysts, the Blu-Ray seem to be the next standard for delivering digital content to consumers around the world. In fact, Sony is going to debut the Blu-Ray technology on PS3 when it launches in the spring of 2006. Some stated that Xbox 360 will have HD-DVD capability but Microsoft has yet to confirm the speculation. The fierce battle will continue and when the dust settles consumer can decide which of the two will replace DVD and VHS and move onto HDTV era. Only time will tell.

Daniel is an author and webmaster of [] The website has comprehesive coverage on all PS3 (Playstation 3) related news and information.

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Are you interested in a computer recycle program, but you are unsure how to go about it or where to look? Here are some basic guidelines that will help you to make good decisions about donating your computer and finding a computer recycle plan to fit your needs.

1. Make sure that your computer recycle beneficiary is legitimate. Not only are there unethical individuals and computer recycle companies who will take your computer and sell it or its parts for profit, but they may also try to steal your information from your computer for illegal use. Check with the Better Business Bureau, just in case.

2. The costliness of disposing old computer parts that need to be refurbished or replaced (also called e-waste) may be high, so some recycle programs may charge a fee to take your computer. This fee may be to “wipe clean” your computer’s hard drive, etc. Make sure your fees do not overlap with a simple task you can undertake on your own.

3. If you do want to “wipe clean” your computer yourself before you recycle, there are a number of products available on the market to assist you in the process.

4. Ask the computer recycle program if they want you to leave any basic components or programs (word perfect or other business software pre-installed). There are ways to computer recycle without leaving any personally identifying information on the computer. By doing this before you computer recycle, you may save money in the long run!

5. Nothing you are donating to the computer recycle program should be more than five years old. This is ancient in computer recycle time!

6. Check with different organizations, such as schools and libraries, before taking your computer to donate it. Oftentimes, such organizations do not take donations directly.

7. There are online and local organizations that take computers directly, then refurbish them and redistribute them to others in need. Check around to find out what is in your area.

8. You can get a tax deduction for donating a computer to a computer recycle program. For example, a computer that you bought for $1,000, but that is now worth $400, if you donate it, you can deduct $400 off of your taxes. Get receipts and keep records.

9. When you participate in a computer recycle program, you are helping someone in need.

10. When you participate in such programs, you are helping to preserve and protect the environment for future generations!

By Margarette Tustle. Learn more about recycle [] and recycling [] resources from

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When you use computers and the Internet in your business, it’s all too easy to start feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of nonsense. Computer-related things tend to have a language all their own, and while you don’t need to know all of it, there are many confusing words and phrases that you’re going to come across sooner or later. Here’s a quick primer.

Bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that your website can send each second, as well as the amount of data that the visitor to your website can receive. If either one doesn’t have enough bandwidth, then the website will appear slowly. For this reason, you should choose a host with plenty of bandwidth, as well as testing that your site doesn’t take too long to download on slow connections.

Browser. A browser is the software (see below) that visitors to your site use to view it. The most popular browser is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which comes with Windows.

Cookie. Cookies are data files that your site can save on the computer of someone who visits that site, to allow it to remember who they are if they return. You will find that problems people have in ordering from you will almost inevitably be related to cookies — they will need to have them turned on.

Download. Transferring data from a website to a computer.

Favourite. A favourite is a website that a user has stored to look at again, by choosing ‘Add to Favourites’ in their browser’s menu.

FTP. File Transfer Protocol. This is a common method of uploading (see below) files to your website.

Javascript. A common language for writing ‘scripts’ on websites, which are small programs that make the site more interactive. Another common cause of problems for visitors.

JPEG. Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is the name of the most popular format for pictures on the web, named after the group that came up with it. If you want to put pictures on your website, you should save them as JPEGs.

Hardware. Hardware is computer equipment that physically exists. It is the opposite of software.

Hosting. If you’ve got a website out there on the Internet, then you’ll be paying someone for hosting. It is the service of making your site available for people to see.

HTML. HyperText Markup Language. A kind of code used to indicate how web pages should be displayed, using a system of small ‘tags’. The ‘b’ tag, for example, causes text to appear in bold, and the ‘img’ tag displays a picture.

Hyperlink. A hyperlink is when a piece of text on a website can be clicked to take you to another site, or another page on the same site. For example, if clicking your email address on your website allows someone to email you, then your email address is a hyperlink.

Programming. This is when the computer is given instructions to tell it what to do, using one of many ‘programming languages’. Programming languages for the web include PHP and Perl.

Server. The server is where your website is stored, and it is the server that people are connecting to when they visit the site. If someone tells you, for example, that your server is ‘down’, it means that your website is inaccessible. Note that server refers both to the hardware and software of this system.

Software. Programs that run on the computer, or that make your website work. Microsoft Word is software, for example, as is Apache (the most popular web server software). Opposite of hardware.

Spider. Don’t be scared if a spider visits your website! Spiders are simply programs used by search engines to scan your site and help them decide where it should appear when people search. It is good to be visited by spiders, as it means you should start appearing in search engines soon.

Upload. Uploading is when you transfer data from your own computer to your website. For example, you might upload your logo, or an article you’ve written. Opposite of download.

URL. Uniform Resource Locator. This is just a short way of saying ‘web address’, meaning what you have to type in to get to your website. Sometimes pronounced as ‘Earl’.

James Calvin will show you how to market your product to the World using the only REAL techniques. Go to

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As computer technology advances you may have noticed the number of cheap laptops available out there for you to consider for your wireless needs. Two ways to get cheap laptops at an inexpensive price is to purchase a used or a refurbished model. Cheap laptops can be a great bargain for certain individuals who need a laptop, but don’t want to pay the high prices that some of the more high-tech models sport. There are some things that you should consider when looking at cheap laptops that will keep you from buying something that will not serve you well.

Refurbished Laptop VS. Used Laptop

Refurbished means the computer has been used for 1 day to 3 months and then returned to the store for various reasons. The store or manufacturer cannot resell it as new, so they offer it as a refurbished model. If necessary it is repaired to factory specifications. This is a great way to find cheap laptops, because usually there is some type of warranty attached as well. A used computer, on the other hand, is offered “as is” and has not been repaired to any specifications unless the seller indicates that it has.


When looking at cheap laptops, first think and assess your laptop needs. Are a student who needs basic word processing? Then it may not be necessary for you look at cheap laptops that have a great deal of memory. You can find cheap laptops with a great deal of memory if that is what you are looking for, but you will have to pay more. Most laptops of any price will usually have at least 128 MB of memory to run the programs available today.


Older laptop computer models are oftentimes harder to upgrade than newer models. By researching, you will be able to find newer computers at a cheaper price. It is important for you to take the time to research through computer magazines, online, and ask professional opinions on the laptop you are interested to make sure there are compatible parts.


Laptops are generally about twice the cost of desktop models with the same features, you are paying for the convenience of being able to take your computer with you wherever you go. To find out if the price you are being offered for cheap laptops is fair, you can check online and see how much they are selling for on other sites and dealers. Remember that a brand-new laptop that is farther down the line in features may be not as good as some of the refurbished cheap laptops that are at the top of the line and at the same price.

By Margarette Tustle. Read more helpful information about laptops [] plus more laptop [] resources at target=”_New” href=””>

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