Health Care’s Hidden Headache: More 1099 Forms on Tap

I'm leaching this article 100% from the Society of American Florists newsletter since it's so well written and too important to not share.

Health Care’s Hidden Headache: More 1099 Forms on Tap
By Drew Gruenburg
SAF is working on Capitol Hill to repeal the law that would mandate that all business owners issue more 1099s for what they buy from vendors.

As part of the health care reform law, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, small businesses must issue 1099 forms to individuals or companies from whom they purchase more than $600 worth of goods or services. Under current rules, most payments to corporations are exempt from 1099 reporting requirements; the form is mainly used to report money paid to independent contractors or freelancers for services.

Business owners will also have to get a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from all vendors. Without a TIN, businesses can withhold payment.

Under the new law, 64 percent of respondents to an SAF survey anticipate issuing 50 or more 1099 forms. Under existing law, 4 percent of respondents currently issue 50 or more 1099 forms.

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-3-CA) has introduced H.R. 5141, The Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, to repeal the new requirement.

“SAF supports this bill and will work toward its passage,” said Jeanne Ramsay, SAF’s senior director of government relations. “But also, through SAF’s participation in coalitions, meetings have been held with the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration to explain the impact on small businesses.”

Here are some examples of situations in which a business will have to issue a 1099 to the appropriate vendor (for expenses exceeding $600), beginning in 2012, unless the law is repealed:

    * space rentals from a corporate landlord
    * educational seminars hosted by a corporation
    * inventory purchases from a supplier
    * trade show lodging at a corporate hotel
    * business airfare
    * holiday parties held at a restaurant operated as a corporation,
    * office supply purchases for copier ink and paper
    * gas station purchases

Businesses must file a 1099 once it once the expense exceeds $600 during a calendar year.

This new law was put into place to help pay for the cost of health care reform and to help ease the “tax gap” — the gap between what is supposed to be paid in taxes to the IRS and what the IRS is actually collecting. Some estimate the tax gap is $350 billion a year.

H.R. 5141 currently has 71 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Constant Contact adds Social Media

Recently Constant Contact acquired Nutshell Mail, a tool which specializes in social media marketing beyond CC’s core e-mail marketing business.

Sometime in the last two weeks Constant Contact added a new contact import feature–import from a webmail account.  You can now mine your contact lists in GMail, Hotmail, etc. for recipients.  Did your contacts opt-in?

How much longer until there is an import from Facebook?  Ethically, could that be done?  Does “likeing” a business on Facebook give them permission to contact you through email?  I vote no.  Use the contact form if you have feedback, comment spammers are still assaulting my blog.

PHP and Yahoo Store

In my previous post regarding getting started with Yahoo store, I remarked that PHP seemed to be the direction Yahoo was moving its store.  If that’s the case, they’re pretty mum on the subject.  I asked YS support the following question:

I’m starting to set up my site, and I see so much documentation on generating HTML pages and inserting store tags, which pretty much means I need to create a page for each item in my catalog (unless I use RTML templates).  There is very little on PHP, but apparently I can’t use PHP and Store Tags.  Is that a problem?  Is is possible to create a database driven cart using PHP and, rather than store tags, the HTML output of the store tags, changing the proper variables (such as the category or item)?  I’m an experienced web developer, so this is a pretty basic concept for me, but there just isn’t a lot of information to go on.

This was their reply:

Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Small Business Support.  I understand you are having trouble with store tags and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.  You can use php pages and use store tags on that.But there is a small problem.When you use store tag on php page you cant directly put store tag on to php page.Instead create an item page with an extention .html and use store tags on that.Use IFRAME tag to bring that item page to php page.If you put store tag directly to php code there will be rendering
issues.  I am putting a sample skeleton of the code below

<IFRAME src="itempage.html"></IFRAME>

Please use the below help link for store tags  You can use your custom php scripts to create custom shopping cart.  But if you do that , you cant take advantage of shipping,payment option etc that is been provided by Yahoo! Merchant Solution plan.You dont need to be in Yahoo! Merchant Solution if you want to use custom PHP scripts and
create custom shopping cart.You can downgrade your plan to Yahoo! Web Hosting if you want to create custom shopping cart using php scripts. If you want to utilize tools provided by Merchant Solution you will have to
use Yahoo!’s Check out.

So, long story short–there really isn’t a way to develop a truly dynamic cart on a Yahoo! Store.  The best you can do is RTML templates, which do allow for a good deal of functionality.  But not a truly dynamic cart.

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Getting Started with Yahoo Store

Yahoo! Store has come a long way in the past several years.  When we were bringing our wedding accessories site online in 2004, we looked at Yahoo! Store, and felt the costs were too high, and features too few, to use them.  So we went with Lagarde Storefront.  The features were good, but the code left a lot to be desired.

It’s time for an upgrade and a redesign, and we evaluated YS again with several other packages.  In terms of hosting cost, features, ease of setup and use, the YS will be our new platform.

Yahoo! Stores are really divided into two functions, which I’ll call "catalog" and "cart".  The distinction is important because you have complete control over catalog, but you can only skin the cart to a limited extent.  The cart functions (including SSL) are provided by Yahoo as a single resource shared amongst all merchants, which is nice because you don’t have to worry about payment integrations, etc.

Yahoo! Stores traditionally use static HTML pages for their catalog, and they have several ways you can develop these pages.  The simplest is with their wizard, which binds you to a few template and color choices, but gets you online quickly.  YS also has a SiteBuilder tool, which has even more templates and is more customizable, and ties right into your catalog so you can generate and upload the pages directly.  They recommend this tool for around 100 items or less, so that won’t work for us (plus, we want a very custom look).

You can use Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Expression Web or even Notepad to generate your own catalog top to bottom, but this is very time consuming since you need to generate a page for every item, and manually paste in little snippets that the store uses at load time to place the content on the page.  Dreamweaver has a plug in to generate these snippets, but other tools will require a cut and paste from the YS store manager.  This would be a total pain, but could be improved with a code generation tool if your database is available outside your store.

For automatic page generation in larger catalogs, YS supports a vaguely documented templating language called RTML, which when your site is "published" regenerates all static HTML pages.  All editing of RTML is done online, using YS’s site tools.  In their help files, YS claims to be committed to RTML, but they don’t offer support or documentation for the language.  It seems to be a legacy tool for YS, supported because of a large installation base and vibrant RTML ecosystem of developers.  A couple of dev shops offer e-book references, and in most cases if you outsource development, the results will be RTML templates.  It’s actually a pretty cool language (I bought one of the e-books), and there is some pretty amazing work being done with RTML, but I have an issue with static HTML catalog pages.

For a truly dynamic catalog, YS offers PHP/MySQL support.  Even the Amish know what this is, and Microsoft Expression Web 2 offers full PHP support built in.  Yahoo! makes the documentation and references for this option more visible than RTML, so it seems like this is the direction they’re trying to nudge their stores.  For me, this seems like the best option, even though I don’t know PHP.

  Static HTML DB Driven
Speed/Performance Usually a little faster and lighter on the CPU; in most cases, negligible difference Usually a tad slower and a little more CPU; in most cases, negligible difference
Timely updates Need to regenerate every catalog page to update one item Instant, since details are pulled from the database each time the page loads.
Suitable for Carts that don’t change very often Dynamic carts with defined inventory levels or impromptu specials
Pain/Tedium factor Very painful and tedious for large catalogs, although greatly alleviated if you learn RTML (which involves some pain on its own).  Not to mention regenerating the site when visitors are browsing might cause some issues. A little painful to learn a new language if you don’t know PHP/MySQL, but no maintenance required once your site is programmed.
Choice Nope! Winner!  If I’m going to learn something new, it’s something that will make my life easier.
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Cuil – Gateway to Spam

So there’s a new player in the search engine space, founded by some really smart people from Google.  Named Cuil, pronounced “cool”, it differs from Goole’s algorithm:

As Cuil’s founders describe it, the search engine goes beyond today’s search techniques of link analysis and traffic ranking to analyze the context of each page and the concepts behind each query. It then organizes similar search results into groups and sorts them by category. Cuil displays results and offers organizing features, such as tabs to clarify subjects, images to identify topics, and search-refining suggestions.


Or, put simply:

Cuil is making a big push that it ranks pages by content, rather than popularity. The idea here is to poke at how Google is commonly viewed to just reward pages that have the most PageRank value.


Ranking by content?  Uh oh!  Remember “back in the day”, when content was the main factor in ranking websites?  What did we end up with?  That’s right, lots of spammy search results.  SE rankings were determined by the number of times search terms were repeated in the page content, and it was easy to repeat your way to the top results.  Content ranking was pretty much the death of Lycos and Alta Vista–the signal to noise ratio was way too low.

Just to test this brave new world of content ranking, I ran a test myself.  Wifey owns The Bloomery Florist in Butler, PA, so I did searches on Google and Cuil for “florist butler pa”.


The top of Google’s results list the local results, with listings and maps of florists actually in Butler, PA.  The first five search results include three listings for The Bloomery, and two other shops in town.  Not bad, considering there are only four florists in town and one doesn’t have a website.  If you’re looking to send flowers to Butler, Google is going to point you in the right direction.

It isn’t until the eighth result when spammy fake-florist sites start to show up.  You’ve seen them on Dateline and other places, the ones who pretend to be a florist in a local community, charge you a high service fee, and then send the order via FTD or Teleflora to a real local florist.  They’re a complete ripoff, but like P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.  Florist Detective has more information about fake local florists at


The main way the fake florists work their way into the search results is with keyword repetition, usually in some gibberish at the bottom of the page.  And, Cuil got suckered.  All but one of the results on Cuil’s first page are fake florists, pretending to be in Butler.  Part of the spammy text from the first result is below (you have to scroll way down on the page to find this text):

Everybody in Butler needs Butler, PA Pennsylvania Flower Delivery from the best Butler flower shop.
Our Butler floral shop and our Butler flowers are first in quality.
Send Butler, PA Pennsylvania florist greetings to any city or state with a Butler local florist.
We offer Butler florist shop delivery everywhere. Order Butler flower bouquets with a Butler local florist.
Whenever you want a Butler centerpiece call our Butler flower shop.
Butler florist shops will bring your Butler sympathy arrangements wherever you need them.
Try our Butler, PA gift baskets for holiday giving or any time including any specified gift items.
Butler Thanksgiving flowers, and Butler Christmas flowers sent near or far.

See the result at  Wesley Berry is actually located in Michigan, not Butler, PA.  When you place an order with them, you’re talking to someone at a call center (or will be handled by no one if you place online), and you’re charged a high service fee.  The call center has no idea what’s in the local coolers, or what’s available.  Not exactly what you’re looking for if you want to send flowers to Butler, PA.

Danny Sullivan also ran some tests himself, and you can see the results at  His conclusion was also that relevancy alone isn’t enough to overcome Google’s algorithm.

Long story short, let the searcher beware with Cuil for the time being.  I think there’s some promise here, but they need a better algorithm than just keyword repetition.  There are some really smart people behind Cuil, and a good deal of money, too, so it’s one to watch.  For now, use Google to find your local florists, and double check with Florist Detective if you’re unsure.

<update 2008-08-02>

This isn’t something made up, but an actual consumer warning.  Cuil is leading consumers into an unsatisfactory experience.  Wesley Berry has an Unsatisfactory rating at the BBB, and has a long list of complaints at Complaints Board.

Laplink PCMover is a Lifesaver

Wifey needed a new PC, and like all people who have had the same one for 6 years, she wanted everything to transfer perfectly.  The new one had to operate just like the old one, only better. 

Aloha Bob used to be the gold standard of PC migration tools, but Microsoft bought it and incorporated it into Vista, taking it off the market.  Fortunately, our pals at Laplink have enhanced Laplink PCMover to move applications from one computer to another.  I owned Laplink sync software many moons ago, when they gave you bright yellow parallel to parallel and bright blue serial to serial cables.  I still have the cables, and might have the 3.5″ floppy the software came on.  This was back in the days when laptops were bigger than what we call mini-towers are today.

Configuration of PCMover was easy, it takes about 5 minutes after you install the software on each PC, and then you just start the transfer and walk away.  It took about 4 hours to move 17GB worth of data and programs, but the old PC has USB 1.1 (low speed) ports.  I imagine it’s much faster with USB 2 ports on both ends.  The included USB cable is a high-speed USB interface (you can also transfer via network, but even low speed USB is faster than 100MB).  I mowed the lawn and moved some mulch during the transfer.

After the transfer, a reboot was recommended, and then it was time to see what worked and what didn’t.  The desktop looked exactly like the old PC, and all programs seemed to make the journey, even some weirdos specific to Wifey’s business.  I was a little dubious it all went well, but after opening every program and checking it out, it really did work as well as I had hoped.

What did transfer:

  • All data files and folder structure.  The old PC has  D drive, which the new one doesn’t have, so any folder on d:\ was placed in a new folder at c:\drive_d\ on the new PC.
  • Quickbooks 2003 program, settings and data file
  • Microsoft Office Small Business 2000, including “Recent Files” lists and registration keys
  • FTP Surfer and configured login settings
  • Internet Explorer favorites, cookies and home page
  • Olympus Cameida Master Pro
  • TightVNC and settings (it was even registered as a service and automatically started when I rebooted)
  • Shutterfly Smart Upload and settings
  • Desktop settings, including background photo and icons

What didn’t transfer:

  • AVG 7.5 (registered version, and the docs say A/V software won’t be migrated)
  • Passwords for Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail accounts
  • .NET Framework 2.0 (an error occurred at startup)
  • Startup folder entries
  • Printers
  • Some Outlook rules needed to be tweaked for some reason (all folders were present, but I had to respecify the “specified folder”)
  • a few folder settings (such as showing the full address in title and address bar, and opening folders in new windows)

The old OS was Windows XP Home SP1, and the new OS is Windows XP Professional SP2, and this may account for a few of the settings which needed to be retweaked.  By design, the Windows itself does not transfer–only settings, programs and data.

Long story short here, I’d say PCMover was practically perfect.  The few small settings I had to change were no big deal, especially when compared to having to reinstall all that software and reconfigure all the settings.  PCMover will be an enthusiastic high recommendation to anyone I know migrating to a new PC.

I bought PCMover off the shelf at Staples, but you can download it from Laplink’s website if you don’t need the cable but do need immediate gratification.  You can also order Laplink PCMover from Amazon or Laplink’s website.

Using a Dynamic DNS Service with DD-WRT

When you have a phone number assigned to you by the phone company, it doesn’t change on a daily or monthly basis.  It’s static.  It only changes when you relocate to a different service area.  That’s because your phone number is designed to be used for incoming communications–for people to call you.

On the other hand, your cable modem or DSL may not have a static number (called an IP address).  That’s because these connections were meant for outbound communications–you surfing the Internet.  Most providers will assign you a static IP if you request one, usually for an extra charge that may not make it worth doing.

If you can’t or don’t want to get a static IP, but still need a static way to find your node, you can look into a dynamic DNS service.  Most of these are free for a single address.

DD-WRT supports a number DNS services, and you find the Dynamic DNS (DDNS) setup under Setup >> DDNS.  Click the images for a larger view.


I’ve used for a while now.  It’s very simple and stable, and is free for a single address.  You sign up with DynDNS, and choose the url subdomain (“hostname”) you’d like to use–it will be something like

After you’ve signed up for a DDNS account, go back to your router’s DDNS settings and enter your account’s settings.


Typically, you will have a Dynamic type of account, and it will not be a Wildcard account.  These are more advanced configurations, and typically don’t come with the free services.  You’ll know if you need them, and you can always upgrade the day you do.

After configuring the DDNS settings, the router in a short time will update your account’s settings.  On the client end, you now need to edit your OVPN configuration file, and put the host name where the IP address was, in the “remote” line.  Now, even though your IP address may be reassigned periodically, you’ll always be able to use a static host name to locate your VPN.

Adding Additional Clients to your WRT54GL/DD-WRT VPN

Setting up the VPN and the first client takes a while.  Additional clients are easy.

First thing is to download and install OpenVPN GUI.  Find the Installation Package under Stable downloads.

Next, you need to generate a new client key.  You’ll either need to use the same computer as before, or make sure you have the CA cert/key pair handy to sign the certificates.  The first option is better.

If you’re using the same computer, open a command window and get to c:\program files\openvpn\easy-rsa.  Run the following commands:

  1. vars.bat
  2. build-key client2 (remember to change the client # for eac additional client)

Copy ca.crt, client2.crt, client2.key and the OVPN config (from the config folder) to the new client.  Edit the OVPN file and enter the correct client key and cert file names.  It should look something like below (italics indicate the file names to change):

dev tap
proto udp
remote 1194
resolv-retry infinite
ca ca.crt
cert client2.crt
key client2.key
ns-cert-type server
verb 3

You should be set–start the client and hit connect.

Turning a Linksys WRT54GL Router Into a VPN Server

[note: this post was written in Feb, 2008, and used the current-at-the-time version of dd-wrt.  My router has been working for almost 4 years, so I haven’t repeated the process from the beginning with the latest version. The information below may or may not be 100% accurate with the current version.]

I needed an inexpensive but flexible VPN solution.  Inspired by some blog posts and podcasts (linked below), I looked into changing the firmware on my Linksys router.  The firmware I found is the open source DD-WRT.  I am by no means a Linksys or DD-WRT expert.  I’m just someone who managed to muddle through things on my own.  Some steps I got right the first time, and some took a couple of tries.  This post, and my explanations and experiences, are one contribution back to the community.  I hope they help!

According to the DD-WRT list of supported hardware, my current router (a WRT54GS v5) won’t work.  So I picked up a Linksys WRT54GL from Amazon, and went to work.  Again, make sure you get the GL version.

I installed DD-WRT v23 SP2 VPN, generic version, using Internet Explorer (apparently there is sometimes a timeout issue with FireFox when uploading the firmware).  At the time of this post, this is the most recent stable version.  There are several editions of DD-WRT, so make sure you get the VPN version.  The generic edition is the one to use for the WRT54GL router.  You can check their download section to look for a different edition, or see if there is a more recent version.

On a fresh, out of the box router, installation was a snap.  I simply logged in to the web interface, uploaded the new firmware and rebooted the router.  I did not need to use the mini version first, since I have a WRT54GL v1.1 (you can check your version on the bottom of the router).  The older models apparently have a 2MB limit on the upload file size, and the DD-WRT file is 3+MB.  There is no such limitation on v1.1 and above WRT54GL routers, so if you have one of these, you can upload the full version right away.

After making sure I could access the Internet through the router, the fun began–setting up the VPN.

To enable the VPN on the router, log in to the web interface and go Administration >> Services.

Scroll down to the OpenVPN section and select Enable.  On my installation, I accepted the default port, protocol and TUN settings.  Scroll to the bottom of the page, and save the settings.  A reboot of the router wouldn’t be a bad idea.

DD-WRT implements OpenVPN, which is great but also means setup instructions are spread over several websites.  There are a couple configurations you can use–Server Mode with Static Key (which is simpler to set up, but only allows a single VPN connection), and Server Mode With Certificates, which is a little more complicated but allows multiple simultaneous connections.  I chose Server Mode with Certificates, since I need multiple connections.  The formatting on the wiki page makes following the tutorial a little confusing, so I’ll try to guide you through the steps.  There is some bouncing around to several sites during the configuration, which can get a little confusing, too.

Before you do anything else on the router, go to and download the OpenVPN client.  You need to install the client in order to generate the certificates needed during the router configuration.  Since I’m a Windows user, I downloaded the OpenVPN GUI for Windows (this is a separate site from the OpenVPN site, and the download is all you need from this site).  Look for the Installation Package under the Stable downloads.  Run the installer and let it do its thing.  You may be prompted that an adapter has not passed Windows testing–in this instance, that’s OK, go ahead and install it.

Once the client is installed, you need to generate at least three sets of keys and certificates and one set of encryption parameters to ensure your VPN’s security.  All the utilities you need are installed with the OpenVPN GUI client.  Before we generate any keys, I’ll explain what they do.  Also, configuring the VPN causes the router to reboot at one point, so it’s a good idea to do this when no one is connected.

The full instructions for generating the certificates and keys you need are on the OpenVPN site at  Once you complete the section for generating the certs and keys, you’re done with their site.

Important!  When you generate your certs and keys, you’ll be prompted to enter some variables.  In some cases, this information needs to be the same for all certs and keys, and some variables need to be different.  Pay attention to the variables for each set of certs and keys!

I recommend editing the vars.bat file to make life a little easier.

Now is the time to start generating your certs and keys.  Follow the instructions (linked above), but read through the commentary below for each cert before actually creating it.

You’ll be acting as your own Certificate Authority, so you need to generate a CA certificate and a CA key, which are used to sign each of the subsequent certificates and keys.  Having the same CA signature on the client and the server means both keys were generated by the same person, and is the top level of trust between the server and the client.  You need to keep the CA cert and key a secret, and you need to be sure to securely archive a copy of each so you can create additional certs and keys in the future.  You’ll install the CA cert (but not the key) on the router, and use it to sign any future client keys.  If you edited the vars.bat file, when you generate the cert and key, you only need to enter the Common Name variable.  You can make this whatever you like, but I suggest using something recognizable such as your business name or your name.

The next certificate and key are for the server.  These both will also be installed on the router.  For this pair, when you are prompted to enter the Common Name, enter something like “server”.  Also, be sure to sign and commit the certificate.

For each client you want to connect to the VPN, you’ll need to generate a certificate and key.  These will not be loaded onto the server–instead, you’ll copy one set to each client.  Client sets are the only ones you’ll generate multiple ones of.  For each client cert/key pair, enter a different Common Name for each (such as “client1”, “client2”, etc).

Since certificates need to be exchanged over the open Internet, we’ll need a little additional cryptography to ensure they are secure.  OpenVPN uses Diffie-Hellman as part of the key exchange.  These will be loaded onto the server.  There are no additional variables to enter for these.

Once the certs and keys have been generated, pick up in the Server Configuration steps of Server Mode with Certificates section of the DD-WRT site.  The next few paragraphs flow along with the instructions there.  Read their instructions, then read my comments below before doing anything.

Step 2 & 4: Copy the sample rc_startup script into a text editor, and insert the ca.crt, server.key, server.crt and dh1024.pem where indicated (you’ll find the keys and certs at c:\program files\openvpn\easy-rsa\keys).  I also had to change the last line of the script to the workaround shown.  After I had set everything up, I couldn’t keep the VPN connection open, and this workaround fixed the problem.  If you changed the port or protocol when you enabled the VPN service, you need to make sure the changes are reflected in this script, too.

Once you’ve inserted the proper keys and certs, log in to the web interface and navigate to the Commands tab.  On a new installation, you should not have any saved commands, so all you need to do is copy the rc_startup script into the box and click the Save Startup button.

Step 3-5:  On a fresh installation, you won’t have a saved rc_firewall command.  Copy the one shown, and save the firewall script the same way.  Reboot the router, if it doesn’t happen for you.

Step 6: You can use the DOS telnet command to access the router and execute the shell command.  Simply go to a command window, and type “telnet”.  Log in, and execute the “ps | grep openvpn”.  This command searches the stack of recently executed instructions and prints them to the screen.  You should see a couple of commands show up, indicating OpenVPN has been called, and is therefore running.

Once the server is configured, follow through the Client Configuration section (at this time, only three steps and a short explanation).  Copy a client key and cert pair to the config folder (C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config), as well at the ca.crt, and save the config file to this same folder.  Name the file whatever you want, but the extension should be .ovpn.  Make sure you put in the proper IP address to your router, and enter the right file names for the CA cert and client cert/key.   You should now be able to connect to your VPN–just remember to try it from outside your LAN!  Start the OpenVPN Gui client from the Start menu, and it will appear in the taskbar, down by the clock.  Right-click on the icon and choose Connect.

If you don’t have a static IP address, you might want to look into a dynamic DNS service, such as (see link below).  You can set up a free account, and choose a custom subdomain.  You can configure the DD-WRT software to update the DynDNS records every time your IP changes.  This way, you only need to configure a DNS name in the config file, and you can always access your system.


OpenVPN GUI has a console where you can see what’s going on.  I ran into a couple problems with my VPN.

If the connection is made and drops repeatedly, make sure you use the workaround in the rc_setup script (replacing the last line with the two indicated below the script).

If you can connect to the VPN, and an ipconfig /all shows you have an IP address from the VPN server, but you can’t access anything inside your network, it might be your local router.  My old home router prevented me from accessing any of the remote resources.

Useful Links:

Linksys-Cisco WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router (Compatible with Linux)

Hack Attack: Turn Your $60 Router Into A $600 Router

Podcast: The Linksys WRT54GL Router

Podcast: Setting Up A Home Network

Adding Additional Clients to your WRT54GL/DD-WRT VPN

Using a Dynamic DNS Service with DD-WRT

kick it on

10 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name recently published an article with 10 tips for choosing a domain name.  All are pretty good, but this one needs some elaboration:

2. Short and easy to spell — Shorter is better.  A short URL is easier to remember and less likely to be misspelled than a long one.  For obvious reasons, avoid any domain name that by its nature is hard to spell or confusing.

Not just easy to spell–easy to say on the phone or the radio.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear domain names said on the radio, and have no idea how to spell them.  If you’re buying radio advertising, include a clear spelling–accents (especially the Pittsburgh-ese in this area) make B and V, M and N difficult to discern.

Full article at