Monday, 8 July 2013

The Benefits of Organic Fertilisers

These days, in a tight market, it's becoming increasingly important for farmers to make the most of their soils. One way to do this is by using organic fertilisers. As soils are farmed more aggressively, compaction becomes a major problem. This compaction decreases root penetration and makes it more difficult for worms to move through the soil. Compaction can be reversed through in-ground composting as witnessed at John and George De Palma's dairy farm in Muckatah, Victoria.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Sunshine Coast Plasterers

Having just been doing some work on my house I can recommend some Sunshine Coast plasterers who did a great job using the latest dust-free techniques. The head guy is called Mark and you can find his details at

Environmentally Sustainable Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo floors are environmentally sustainable being harvested from controlled bamboo forests which take one tenth of the time to grow as traditional hardwoods. Make sure you ask whether the flooring you're about to buy is manufactured using non-toxic glues and water based coatings in a waste free environment. Some cheap products use cheap manufacturing which inevitably involves cutting corners and using toxic chemicals.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Budget Shower Screens

Budget Shower Screens Brisbane offer low-cost, quality shower screens, mirrors and sliding wardrobes. They service the Greater Brisbane area which stretches from Beenleigh in the south to Caboolture in the north. But have a word with Paul, who's a local, and he's happy to deal with Sunshine Coast people too. Shower screens and mirrors come as frameless, semi-frameless and framed. Sliding wardrobe doors come in framed and semi-frameless.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Aboriginal Art Gallery

A new aboriginal art gallery has opened up in Palm Cove. Pandanus Gallery deal direct with the indigenous artists and provide exhibitions and promotions for upcoming aboriginal artists.

We've been lucky enough to create their website which links with the Artists Management System used by aboriginal communities throughout Australia.

If you're up in Palm Cove, check it out. They're on the Esplanade at the Drift shopping complex.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Google Chrome Leads The Way

Google Chrome is turning out to be a godsend. Whilst still in beta I'm finding it much more reliable than Firefox 3 which crashes all the time. Pity, because Firefox 2 was near perfect.

I'm also finding Chrome to display web pages faster than other browsers.

Anybody noticed anything else?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Affordable Websites

Sunshine Coast web design company, Ion e-Business, is back in Mission Beach. We've been working hard over the past 6 months to come up with affordable solutions for small businesses. Now we've got several products that every small business can afford. Check out our website and see what's going on:

Monday, 16 June 2008

Carbon Footprint

Ever wondeered what a carbon footprint is or how you can make it smaller? Fear not, the Carbon Footprint blog should answer all of your questions and put you on the road to sustainable living.

C4 Cassowary Conservation

As part of our annual work intake we select non-profit organisations for whom we think a new web design would benefit them. We have recently been speaking with the cassowary conservation group C4 in Mission Beach and have offered them a new state-of-the-art web design which we will be building them for free. We're hoping that in doing so we may be able to obtain more online coverage for them and take the plight of the cassowary to the nation.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Microsoft Not Buying Yahoo

The boss of Yahoo has said Microsoft is no longer interested in buying the company but that it "makes sense" for the two to discuss working together. In his fullest comments since Microsoft dropped its $47.5bn bid this month, Jerry Yang admitted a merger would have had a "tremendous amount of power". He insisted that it had been Microsoft which had broken off talks over price. But Mr Yang said Yahoo was still "listening" to proposals being put forward by its rival.

Read more here.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Google Sitemap Validator

Google Sitemaps are a useful addition to the Webmaster Tools available in Google. Your web designer should make it a matter of course to create a sitemap for you when your website is built. To aid Google's indexing it's useful to keep this sitemap up-to-date - that's why, if you've got a dynamic website like Andersons Real Estate, you should ask for an automated sitemap generator to be created. 

Don't rely on your sitemaps to be correct when they are released, check them with the Google Sitemap Validator.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Tools

I thought I'd share with you a few tools that I use when going about my day-to-day search engine optimisation (SEO) business.

This tool tells you how your website ranks in a variation of Google data centres. Usually, if your ranking results differ through the data centres then this means that indexing is usually taking place.

Link popularity is important because it is a major factor used by search engines to determine a website's position in the search results. 

This tool will automatically check the Google page rank of any website.

This tool will query Google's various data centers to check for any changes in PageRank values for a given URL. Usually all data centers will output the same, but if queried during an update, you might get a glimpse of any upcoming changes in your chosen URL's PageRank value.

A website’s age is one of the major factors used to rank it in the search engines. Use this tool to find the age of any domain, including your competitors’ or ones you might want to purchase. Older domains may get a slight edge in search engine rankings.

I hope these tools prove useful.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Google Announces Job Losses

Google has announced its first sizeable cuts, with the axing of 300 jobs at its online advertising unit DoubleClick.

The lay-offs make up about a quarter of DoubleClick's 1,200-strong workforce in the US. Worldwide, DoubleClick has about 1,500 employees.

Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has suggested that overseas operations, employing a further 300 people, will also be affected at a later date.

It is a first for Google and perhaps not one they want to trumpet too much.

In a statement, Google said: "Since our acquisition of DoubleClick closed on March 11, we have been working to match and align DoubleClick employees in the US with our organisational plan for the business.

"As with many mergers, this review has resulted in a reduction in head-count at the acquired company."

Privacy concerns

Some workers have been laid off already, while Google says others are being offered transitional roles, or contract jobs, which are expected to end after the two companies are fully integrated.

In a blog posting in March, Mr Schmidt gave a heads-up that job cuts would be likely and that those outside the US would be made "in accordance with local law".

At over $3 billion (£1.5bn), Google's purchase of DoubleClick is its largest to date and completed less than a month ago, after being held up by regulators for a year.

At the time, the deal was heavily criticised and resisted by non-profit privacy groups which argued that it would give Google unprecedented access to information about consumers' online behaviour.

Microsoft and AT&T also opposed the transaction, which was approved by the Federal Trade Commission in December.

Conflict of interest?

On top of the news of the lay-offs, Google says it also plans to sell a DoubleClick unit called Performics Search Marketing.

That arm of the business helps marketers place adverts on search engines, including those owned by Google and its main rivals in the field, Yahoo and Microsoft.

It has always been felt that this represented a conflict of interest for Google.

In an official Google blog, Tom Phillips, director of DoubleClick Integration, writes: "It is clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business.

"At Google, maintaining objectivity in both search and advertising is paramount to our mission and core to the trust we ask from our users."

Industry watchers maintain that the decision to sell off Performics Search Marketing makes good business sense and that Google's primary focus is to get paid as much as possible for the adverts that appear on its pages.

Rumours abound that Google is already in talks with a third party to sell the business for an undisclosed sum.

Although on his blog Mr Phillips maintains no buyer is waiting in the wings, he does concede there has been quite a bit of interest "from a number of current partners".

Danny Sullivan, editor of, praises the much anticipated sell-off and says it was not unexpected.

Google said the business would continue to run as a separate entity until the division was sold.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Kasmara Wongaling Beach

Kasmara located in Wongaling Beach, is Mission Beach’s latest private gated estate sitting on a slightly elevated beachfront position on prized Banfield Parade, and just a few footsteps to the tranquil waters of Wongaling Beach.

This fourteen lot real estate sub-division is unrivalled on a 3.6 acre beachfront location, sensitively designed to maximise the ocean views from twelve of the fourteen lots.

Currently under development and selling off the plan, these fully serviced Wongaling Beach real estate lots range in size from 600m2 to 1022m2 and are set around a substantial garden oasis, with a Balinese style pavilion overlooking the large ornamental lily pond. Extensive use of native vegetation throughout Kasmara will create a natural environment bringing an abundance of birds and butterflies.

Wongaling Beach real estate Building covenants are in place to create tropically designed homes that blend in with the surroundings and promote sustainable living. You can design your own, or Award Winning Architect Chris Van Dyke has a range of Concept Designs for Kasmara that you can choose from. (Get in quick, available free to the first seven buyers only.)

Adjacent to the new Woolworths Shopping Village (due for completion June 08) is the Wongaling Beach Shopping Centre and the Mission Beach Resort is located only a short walk away. Excellent restaurants are close by and two great golf courses are a short drive inland, or for those who prefer to fish or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and nearby islands beckon. Others wishing to take in the magic of the rainforest can enjoy any number of surrounding walks, or right out front you can walk the length of Wongaling Beach, South Mission Beach or North Mission Beach.

If it’s the friendly relaxed lifestyle that brings you to Mission Beach, then don't miss out on this opportunity to live in your own private gated estate in Kasmara, Wongaling Beach at a very affordable price.

Contact Andersons Real Estate or visit the Kasmara Wongaling Beach website for more information.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Hi-Tech Thieves Steal PINs

An international gang of fraudsters is ripping off bank customers at ATMs across Sydney, using high-tech devices to copy card details and access their accounts.

More than 100 customers of one bank lost money after their cards were "skimmed" at ATMs.

The crooks place dummy card scanners over the slot where cards go into the ATM to read the card's magnetic strip. Tiny cameras are hidden above the ATM to record the secret pin number being punched in.

St George Bank had to call up to 100 customers last week to tell them their cards had been cancelled as they had probably been skimmed.

Arncliffe pensioner Annette Cruger was told by St George Bank's fraud section her account had been illegally accessed in Canada over the weekend and $1100 had been stolen.

"The bank said they had to call 80 to 100 customers who had been 'skimmed' at ATMs and the bank had to cancel their cards to stop more money being stolen from their accounts," she said.

"The bank did not seem to know where the card had been skimmed as they asked me which ATMs I normally use so they could cross-reference it with others who had been skimmed."

Fraud squad head Detective Superintendent Col Dyson said his squad busted an international skimming gang of Bulgarians two years ago who had plundered $1.6 million from 600 accounts, but he could not say if the same gang was back.

Seven gang leaders escaped the police net and fled to Canada where they raided Australian accounts at ATMs around Toronto using cards copied from the Sydney operation.

Superintendent Dyson said even more high-tech skimming devices were appearing overseas which use a touch sensitive cover over the keypad to record the pin numbers, transmitting the code to a laptop computer up to 100 metres away.

Detective Sergeant Peter Meagher said the skimming devices were cleverly disguised.

But all the experts agree there is a perfect low-tech solution to the high-tech crime: shield your hand typing in the pin code so the hidden camera can't see it.

How it works

1. Crooks attach covering to top or side of ATM cabin to that contains a tiny camera to record the secret pin code being punched in the keypad.

2. Attach replica of slot opening where card is inserted which reads the magnetic strip and stores it before it goes into ATM.

3. Overseas crooks are using keypad covers that transmit the numbers to a laptop up to 100 metres away.

4. Crooks retrieve devices after 20 to 30 uses, copy magnetic strip data onto blank card and use secret pin number to access account.

Monday, 25 February 2008

YouTube On The Blink

Most of the world's internet users lost access to YouTube for several hours after an attempt by Pakistan's government to block access domestically affected other countries.

The outage highlighted yet another of the internet's vulnerabilities, coming less than a month after broken fibre-optic cables in the Mediterranean took Egypt offline and caused communications problems from the Middle East to India.

An internet expert likened the cause of the outage to "identity theft" by a Pakistani telecommunications company, which accidentally started advertising itself as the fastest route to YouTube.

But instead of serving up videos of skateboarding dogs, it sent the traffic into oblivion.

On Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ordered 70 internet service providers to block access to, because of anti-Islamic movies on the video-sharing site, which is owned by Google Inc.

The authority did not specify what the offensive material was, but a PTA official said the ban concerned a trailer for an upcoming film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who has said he plans to release a movie portraying Islam as fascist and prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals.

The block was intended to cover only Pakistan, but extended to about two-thirds of the global internet population, starting at 1847 GMT yesterday (0547 AEDT Monday), according to Renesys Corp, a Manchester, New Hampshire, firm that keeps track of the pathways of the internet for telecommunications companies and other clients.

The greatest effect was in Asia, were the outage lasted for up to two hours, Renesys said.

YouTube confirmed the outage today, saying it was caused by a network in Pakistan.

"We are investigating and working with others in the internet community to prevent this from happening again," YouTube said in an emailed statement.

A YouTube spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an emailed question on whether the clips that offended Pakistan's government had been removed. Several clips with interviews of Wilders were still up on the site this afternoon.

Two apparent errors allowed the outage to propagate beyond Pakistan, according to Todd Underwood, vice-president and general manager of internet community services at Renesys.

Pakistan Telecom established a route that directed requests for YouTube videos from local internet subscribers to a "black hole", where the data was discarded, according to Renesys. Pakistan Telecom's mistake was that it then published that route to its international data carrier, PCCW Ltd of Hong Kong, Underwood said.

The second mistake was that PCCW accepted that route, Underwood said. It started directing requests from its customers for YouTube data to Pakistan. And since PCCW is one of the world's 20 largest data carriers, its routing table was passed along to other large carriers without any attempt at verification.

"Once a pretty big network gets an error like that, it propagates to most or all of the internet very quickly," Underwood said. As he put it, Pakistan Telecom was impersonating YouTube to much of the world.

Pakistan Telecom and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority were unavailable for comment tonight local time.

Rex Stover, vice president of sales for PCCW Global in Herndon, Virginia, said the company was still trying to figure out what happened and why.


Monday, 7 January 2008

Disabling User Account Control in Windows Vista

User Account Control in Windows Vista is responsible for all of those irritating pop-ups that ask you whether a program can have permission to continue. Now, I understand Microsoft wanting to decrease security breaches in their operating systems but sometimes this is downright irritating. So, to turn it off just follow these steps:

  1. Go into Control Panel.
  2. Select User Accounts.
  3. Select the account that you want to change.
  4. Click the Turn User Account Control on or off link.
  5. Reboot your machine.

No more irritating questions about running a program that you've just double-clicked and know you want opening...

Ion e-Business run a web site design company in Mission Beach, Far North Queensland.

Problems With Internet Explorer 7 and Flash on Vista

I have recently been having some problems with Internet Explorer running extremely slowly on Vista Ultimate. After a long drawn out process of disabling Add-Ons I found that it was a problem with Flash - that coupled with the occassional script errors I was getting gave it away! The thing that stopped me looking into it being a Flash problem straight away was that the same websites viewed on Firefox and Safari worked fine so don't let this fool you too.

Now, I thought that I had the latest version of Flash as I had downloaded Flash 9 a couple of weeks earlier but it seems that wasn't the case. There is a file that you need to run in order to get the version of Flash that works with Vista. It is at C:\Windows\System32\macromed\flash\FlashUtil9d.exe. Note that depending on your version of Flash the 9d may be 9b or 9e etc. Magically, after you run this file Flash will start working properly again.

Ion e-Business run a website design company in Mission Beach, far North Queensland.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Domain Registration Made Easy

A note to everybody thinking of registering a domain and having a website developed. Make sure you register the domain yourself. I'm saying this because of some nasty practices used by web developers in the Cairns region. Here are just two recent examples:

1. One client's domain was about to expire, the contact details at the domain registrar were to the previous web developer and even after repeated phone calls to said previous web developer, the client was ignored, the domain expired and was immediately picked up by one of those irritating automated processes that go around finding expired domains - the end result being that the client lost their established domain name

2. The second example pertains to the same previous 'web developer' (note the use of inverted commas for sarcasm purposes) whereby the domain registration was done by them on the client's behalf but the client was never given the domain registrar password. This time the email contact details were the client's email address but since registration the client has cancelled this email address and the previous web developer has lost the password. The mess we now find ourselves in is that we cannot login to the domain registrar, cannot follow the procedures for lost password and subsequently cannot re-host the website.

My advice to people who are thinking of registering a domain is:

1. Do it yourself.
2. Do it with a reputable domain registrar - we at Ion e-Business use
3. If you're an Australian business use a extension. By all means purchase the .com as well but the should be your main web address.
4. Make sure that the email you use on the contact details is one you're not going to cancel in the future.
5. Archive all emails you receive from the domain registrar during the registration process and print a couple of copies that you can file away somewhere safe.

Then, when you're ready to have your website developed, give these details to your web developer so they can do their thing.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Mission Beach Website Design

Ion e-Business are the local web site design company in Mission Beach and are specialists in content management systems and the integration of reat-time booking systems.