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My wife and I have been avid iPhone users for a decade.  We recently switched over to Android and I wanted to write up this post to share my thoughts and findings.  

First, Why?

We recently learned about these new Huawei phones and did some research on our own.  We wound up purchasing matching Huawei Honor 8's.  First, the specs are great.  They stand up spec-per-dollar wise when compared to iPhone 6s, which was going to be the iPhone that we went with if we stayed in Apple's ecosystem.  The iPhone 7 doesn't have a headphone jack and that was a deal breaker for us.  The Honor 8's have a 'full' 1080-resolution screen squeezed into 5.2 inches.  This basically means that the screen is a little larger than our old phones, but the clarity is amazing.  Huawei has openly stated that they intend to compete with Apple and Samsung, head on.  I personally believe they will be successful.  

Huawei doesn't have any carrier subsidies or fancy deals going on behind the scenes.  They don't have a massive advertising / marketing budget and "brand tax" that leading players are associated with.  If things go according to their plan, they'll simply have to wait for people like me to buy and talk about how nice their products are.  The rest will be history.

Requirements

Our main requirement was that we wouldn't sacrifice any functionality when switching over to Android.  By now, there are plenty of "Google Play" apps on Android's platform to choose from.  

Which Apps?

Apple Android
iCloud Drive Google Drive
Calendar Google Calendar (the stock Huawei calendar app was lacking)
Contacts Google Contacts
Mail BlueMail (the stock Huawei mail app was lacking)
Reminders / Notes  Google Keep (We might be switching to Evernote
Find Friends Google Hangouts (create a "location sharing" circle)
iMessage MightyText (allows SMS from computer)

The Actual Migration: iCloud -> Google

Migrating my actual data (contacts, calendars) was easy.  With Apple's devices supporting MS Exchange, and Android's devices tied into Google, data portability is no problem: you can export your data into simple CSV files and into the new platform.  For me, I used Calendar and Contacts (Mac OS Apps) to export my data.  I saved the files right on my desktop, then opened up a web browser and went to google.com/calendar and google.com/contacts, respectively, and imported my CSV files.  

Syncing Photos

For those worried about syncing photos - this part was probably the least painful.  The Android operating system, when you plug in via USB, gives a few options: Charge Only, Camera Mode, File Mode... once we switched the USB connection to Camera mode, Photos (formerly iPhoto) was able to import pictures into our existing library just like we connected any other USB camera.  

Other Benefits

Our phones now support micro-SD cards for added storage.  

The Joomla 3.7 release added new features AND 8 (eight) low-level security patches.

What they should have done, was to release 3.6.6 with all of the security patches as a ‘security’ release.   Then, after the dust settles, release v3.7.0 with the new functionality.  They combined both “security” and “new functionality” into the 3.7 release.  To me, it seems they should have pushed the security patches into 3.6.6 and then the new features into 3.7, rather than a combination. 

The result is a scramble in the Joomla community where everyone rushes to install version 3.7 because it contains security patches.  Then, another scramble to install 3.7.1 because 3.7.0 had a new security issue.  It seems like a racket, no? 

For me, I had just recently patched a few clients up to Joomla 3.6.5, and when the 3.7 update came out, we collectively waited waited.  Luckily, too, because the 3.7 patch broke some 3rd party extensions:

https://www.ijoomla.com/blog/updates-for-guru-and-ad-agency-are-now-available/
https://www.artio.net/support-forums/joomsef/community-support/joomsef-4/joomla-update-3-7-broke-joomsef
https://yootheme.com/support/question/108983
https://www.akeebabackup.com/home/news/1676-joomla-3-7-0-and-cli-scripts.html

As you can see, the RISK of applying a “security patch” can be the NEXT security patch coming down the pike.   Patching a site, particularly if the site is LIVE on the internet, can be a stressful experience. 

 

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This article was originally posted on SearchEngineLand.com

Google often provides useful information to the SEO community, but columnist Nate Dame argues that ultimately, the company's advice is in their best interest, not yours -- so make sure you understand the nuances.

Last month, Google released a video detailing best practices for hiring an SEO company, and it is positioned to become the go-to guide for hiring an SEO. After all, who better to tell companies what they should look for in an SEO than the operators of the world’s most popular search engine?

Starting in January 2017, any website with a "login" form visible (e.g. Client Logins, Shopping Carts, etc) will show an "insecure" message in the browser's address bar if the site does not have an SSL certificate properly installed and configured.

Particularly for my clients that are security-minded, it's important to consider how to proceed with this information.  Some of my clients already have SSL certificates running on their sites, even ones that don't process credit cards.  For clients who already process credit cards, their sites already have the necessary SSL encryption certificate (https), so this is a non-issue. 

This "insecure" message will also pop up when you are trying to access your CMS login panel, like:

  • /wp-login.php for your Wordpress,
  • /administrator for Joomla, and
  • /user for Drupal sites.

 c2-insecure

Possible Solutions:

I had been researching this issue for a client and wanted to share it with everyone.  My client and I had been discussing the ability to collect recurring payments via PayPal WITHOUT requiring the user to have an actual PayPal account. 

Greetings from the beautiful Pocono Mountains!  As we get ready for winter, we want to share a few of our recent projects, along with some ways to make your website more effective.  

In this issue:
Another very happy client (recent testimonial)
Sites that generate ad revenue
Sites that build communities
PDF Form Submissions

As always, I appreciate referrals!  

Thanks,
-Nate

Solution after finding myself unable to print multiple lines on my Quickbooks Invoices.  Seems like there are a lot of other people who posted similar problems and Intuit was fairly unresponsive.  (Here's a similar one)  Hopefully this video will help shed some light on the issue.  I almost wound up typing an amount and hourly rate for EVERY line on my invoices, even though only 1 line per invoice was actually required.  Yikes! 

I noticed that after installing the Joomla 3.6.4 security patch, the background color of the /administrator control panel login screen changed.  It seems that with today's release of Joomla 3.6.4, and ease of which the exploit can be executed, it's really bad timing to make it so easy for hackers to see whether or not a site has been patched.  This latest Joomla exploit allows for a person to do two things:

  1. create an account for themselves in your Joomla user manager, even if you've turned this option OFF in the settings
  2. when creating that account in step one, they are able to assign it "administrator" rights

Meaning... once they sign in with it, they have full access to your admin panel.  I have already reached out to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it about this issue and will report back with any response.

[edit]
Their Response:
The login page was refreshed at 3.5.0, it is also configurable via the admin interface.  This alone wouldn't be a giveaway.
Joomla! Security Strike Team
[/edit]

I just encountered an issue after upgrading a client's site to Joomla 3.6.4.  I was presented with the following error message on both the front end and back end of the site:

Error displaying the error page: Illegal mix of collations (utf8_unicode_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation '=' SQL=SELECT id, home, template, s.params FROM #__template_styles as s LEFT JOIN #__extensions as e ON e.element=s.template AND e.type='template' AND e.client_id=s.client_id WHERE s.client_id = 0 AND e.enabled = 1: Illegal mix of collations (utf8_unicode_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation '=' SQL=SELECT id, home, template, s.params FROM #__template_styles as s LEFT JOIN #__extensions as e ON e.element=s.template AND e.type='template' AND e.client_id=s.client_id WHERE s.client_id = 0 AND e.enabled = 1

I received another "Is this legit?" questions from a client today, and wanted to share so that others can also avoid this.

These people are combining “SEO” with “Registration” in their tactics, which is total shenanigans… it’s like a mechanic telling you that your car needs a new muffler bearing.  There is no such thing. 

To clarify:

  • Domain Registration is the legal ownership of your domain name.  I've written about this topic, previously, in a blog post titled "How to maintain control of your web site.
  • SEO is the art of writing good website content (and title tags) so that search engines give good "snippets" of your website when people are doing various searches.

There is no need to pay for "monthly SEO" (ongoing submissions, etc).  You may choose to pay someone monthly to go in and improve the actual text and title tags in your site, but I prefer to teach my clients how to do this on their own.  I've found that there are too many snake oil salesman in the SEO area.  Once your s ite is built and indexed by the search engines, they come back and "crawl" your site regularly, scanning for updates.  You do not need to re-submit your site every month.  And you certainly don't need to pay someone else for "search engine submission" services.  Yikes!

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