links for 2010-05-13

  • Peregrines have nested at the Cathedral of Learning since 2002. Dorothy and E2 are the parents at this site. Dorothy began nesting here in 2002 with her first mate, Erie. E2 arrived in the fall of 2007 when Erie disappeared. Dorothy fledged 22 chicks in seven years with Erie and 7 chicks since 2008 with E2. For recent news on Pittsburgh's peregrines, Kate St. John’s Bird Blog.
  • What you need to know
  • If one of your users clicks through to a product or service and buys something you automatically earn a commission. In return for the service we typically take 25% of those commissions. There is no risk, you only pay us a share of what you earn. Often you earn more with VigLink due to collective bargaining on commission rates, even after our 25% cut.
  • If you’ve ever found yourself scratching your head at a 3-letter acronym in an ecommerce related article or document, this post is for you. We’ve compiled 99 of the most common 3 letter acronyms you’ll find in online business, from a wide range of functions including IT, marketing, web development, SEO, web analytics, web design and logistics. Roll over any acronym to see its title, or click its link to see a full definition. Or quiz yourself, and see how many of these acronyms you know off the top of your head!
  • Though small, the call-to-action button (add to cart, begin checkout, continue, submit, etc) can have a major influence on conversion. The size, placement, color, wording and even shape matters, but you don’t know what’s optimal until you test variations of each variable.
    In a recent interview, conversion optimization legend Bryan Eisenberg recently shared one of his secrets for great call-to-action buttons, using irregular shapes (rather than typical rectangle or oval shapes). This includes buttons with icons like big plus signs or shopping carts. It’s the “unusualness” of the button that catches the eye and captures the click.
    There is no shape proven to work best (remember, everything must be tested as every website’s design and target customer is different). Your website may even convert better with a conventional button shape. But if you’re daring enough to test an irregular shape, here are some shape ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
  • Shopping cart abandonment is an epidemic in online retailing, with some companies reporting that more than 60% of checkouts end without a conversion.
    Preventing even a relatively small percentage of these abandoned carts would significantly improve revenues and profits.
    While purchase price and shipping costs are the leading reported causes of shopping cart abandonment, ease of use is close behind.
    Fighting Frustration
    One increasingly popular method used to slash cart abandonment rates is to introduce single-page, Ajax-driven checkout forms that combine the convenience of a single page format with asynchronous form validation.
    As we start this discussion of the pros and cons of single-page, Ajax checkouts, I need to describe why these two methods—one pagers and Ajax—are employed and what frustrating problems they seek to solve.
  • At some point, you may have a situation where you want to center multiple elements (maybe <div> elements, or other block elements) on a single line in a fixed-width area. Centering a single element in a fixed area is easy. Just add margin: auto and a fixed width to the element you want to center, and the margins will force the element to center.

    There really should be a similar simple way to center multiple elements evenly spaced. It would be nice if CSS had a property called “box-align” which you could set to “center” then the child elements would be centered evenly within their parent.

    Well, you can achieve something similar by taking advantage of CSS’s flexibity with “recasting” elements (for lack of a better term). View a demo of what I’ll be describing in this short tutorial.

  • Zoomooz is an easy-to-use jQuery plugin for making any web page element zoom.
  • 8 Websites You Need to Stop Building – The Oatmeal
  • We are providing you fresh and new Html/Css Web Templates of April 2010 for free Download
    .

    These Template are totally free for editing, modifying and colors according to your requirement.

    Last month we had presented 10 best Html/CSS Web template for free download which has been appreciated a lot. I hope this time you will again like these web templates and would appreciate gorgeous work of designers.

    We have come up with new designs, layouts, and color themes that will attract you and will inspire you to create more exciting for your future projects.

  • Space is black. I mean, duh, right? But really, it’s black because it’s almost entirely empty, so even with stars scattered around, there’s nothing to light up.

    hst_ngc1999But some parts of space are bright: clouds of gas can be lit up by nearby stars, making them glow. However, just to make things more fun, there can be thicker patches of dust mixed in that block the light from the stars and gas behind them. We see lots of those, they’re pretty common. But there’s yet another "however": that dust only blocks the visible light. In the infrared, that dust should itself glow because it’s warm.

    NGC 1999 — seen here in a famous Hubble picture — has all these ingredients. It’s a thick region of gas and dust. Stars are being born in and around it, brightening it with their reflected light (as seen in the image; the star V380 Orionis on the left is lighting up the surrounding space junk) as well as warming it up and making it glow on its own. Even so, the oddly-shaped patch to the right was

  • With its release of a black Wii this week, Nintendo has tempted current owners of its videogame machine to trade their white consoles in for the slick new paint job.

    There’s just one problem: Nintendo does not offer gamers a way to transfer games purchased online from one console to another. Neither the Wii nor Nintendo’s portable DSi consoles have an upgrade path for downloadable content, since games are tied not to user accounts but to specific machines. It’s impossible for a user to copy content from an old console to a new one. Even some Wii owners whose machines have malfunctioned said it was difficult, or impossible, to get Nintendo to transfer the software licenses at its headquarters.

    “It shows extreme lack of foresight on their part,” says Wii owner Nathan Gillmore. “Did they really think the general public would be content to have all of their purchased content bound to a specific device?”

    Like all modern-day gaming machines, Wii and DSi can download games directly from an

  • Microsoft Office has been the best selling piece of software for five years running. How does the company plan to compete when it releases Office 2010 Wednesday? Make most of it available for free.

    To counter the popularity of Google's online Docs application, which bundles a word-processing tool, spreadsheet editing, presentation functionality and more into one free app, Microsoft is adding its own free online component: Web apps.

    The Office 2010 suite
    , which Microsoft will release to business customers tomorrow and to consumers in early June, will include the ability to create, edit, view and share files online using the company's SkyDrive website. In fact, you won't even need to buy the program to use the online tools; Microsoft will make the majority of Office functionality available for free to anyone — whether they've bought the new suite or not.

    To use the online functions, simply visit SkyDrive.com (or the Facebook-ified version at docs.com). You can also save a file fro

  • This week Microsoft will take its Office 2010 suite out of beta. If you’re considering upgrading Office with Office, we’d encourage you to consider an alternative: upgrading Office with Google Docs. If you choose this path, upgrade means what it’s supposed to mean: effortless, affordable, and delivering a remarkable increase in employee productivity. This is a refreshing alternative to the expensive and laborious upgrades to which IT professionals have become accustomed.

    Google Docs has been providing rich real-time collaboration to millions of users for nearly four years. It lets employees edit and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in the browser from anywhere in the world. We recently made tremendous strides in improving Google Docs formatting, speed and functionality, and a growing number of companies are now using it as their primary productivity software.

    Of course, you probably already own Office 2003 or 2007 (or maybe Office 2000?), and there’s no need to uninst

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