Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Domain Renewal Group

This company has such awful business practices, I have to make a quick entry about. Today I received a bill-like letter in the mail from Domain Renewal Group (the same company as Domain Registry of America). In the letter they say that my domain name is expiring soon (as in 5 months from now) and that I should renew with them today. But, they are not the company I originally registered with nor would I ever want to (their fees are ridiculously high).

It is clear that Domain Registry of America has made a conceited effort to trick people into paying them through what appears to be a bill. They do say that "This notice is not a bill" but it is buried in the middle of a wordy paragraph, where it will be easily missed. I personally know of one organization that unwittingly sent them money, thinking that they were obliged to do so. Instead they fell for what amounts to a dirty scam and wasted their money. (Unfortunately their IT people were not consulted by their accounting people.)

So, if you get a fake bill from Domain Renewal Group, toss it in the garbage and maybe write your own review of this unethical company.

Other related sites: Domain Registry's BBB record, Dynadot's warning (a good registrar), and an understandably frustrated blogger.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

CSS: inline-block

So much time spent on one CSS statement - "display: inline-block;"

This statement is perfect for a new site I am working on. I want three columns of data to display side-by-side. But, I had many frustrations trying to get it to work cross-browser. This is what I found...

Inline-block works great on IE 8, Chrome and recent versions of Safari.

I had issues when it came to IE6 and IE7, no big surprise there. I fixed this with some conditional comments and the CSS property "display: inline" which acts the same as inline-block in IE.

I also had problems with Firefox 3! My old love of a browser takes issue with this statement (when used with other specific statements). Apparently "display: inline-block" does not play nice with "overflow: hidden" and "text-align: center". This strange alignment of the planets causes my text to align left, instead. Quirky. I ended up commenting out the overflow property, and everything worked for Firefox 3. (I also added a strange Firefox style statement to make sure it worked on FF 2: "display: -moz-inline-stack;".)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Group text messaging

Just recently ShortShout has been released to the world, so I thought I'd give it a mention here. ShortShout is a group texting manager. It is a great way to keep groups up to date on events and changes and other things. It allows group leaders to send out SMS messages to everyone who subscribes. I originally designed it for my youth group. I found that many of the youth didn't check their email very often at all–and I think this is true for most people in general. But, they did check every text message they got. And that's what makes ShortShout such a great tool. You can send messages to people and not only are they read, but they are read almost as soon as they are sent. You can't beat that. This makes ShortShout a great tool for all kinds of groups, from youth groups to bowling leagues, basketball leagues to office pools. Check it out: http://shortshout.com/