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Commerce Hosting Customers for Holiday Shopping

As the peak days for the holiday shopping seasons approach quickly, 33 percent of the top retail websites based in the US are "not ready" for the holiday season, according to a report by website performance monitoring service Uptrends.

In a press release announcing the results, Uptrends described the methodology for the study, which examined the performance for the home pages of 1,640 of the most popular e commerce websites, including the top 1,000 websites listed by research group Online Retailer during the 31 day period ranging from October 14, 2012 to November 14, 2012. Uptrends says it conducted the monitoring from more than 100 checkpoints located around the world, at intervals of 5 minutes.

While promoting its own performance monitoring services was an obvious angle for Uptrends in producing the report, the results paint a somewhat surprising picture of reliability among the sites that stand to lose the most from outages during the enormous spike in holiday shopping traffic seen on "black Friday" and "cyber Monday."

The study shows that even the sites on the list, which should have the volume, the financial incentive and the resources to ensure that their websites remain online to serve customers, even they are struggling with performance issues. For hosting customers, whose customers are in many cases less prepared to handle the holiday season, the issue could be more severe.

A chart of performance for the least reliable 25 websites among those studied is included in the press release announcing the survey results, on the company website.

Average uptime for the entire group was 99.72 percent during the monitoring period, says Uptrends, which translates to 2 hours, 8 minutes of downtime. The average for the 25 least accessible of the sites was 92.25 percent, which represents downtime of 57 hours, 25 minutes during the monitoring period.

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For hosting providers, the study’s results could be a helpful tool in selling monitoring services of their own, or other tools (CDN services, load balancing, extra capacity) that might improve site performance, to their e commerce hosting customers in the few days leading up to the big holiday shopping days.

In October, Rackspace released a similarly themed study on the preparedness of e commerce retailers for the holiday season, in this case, asking the operators of online shops about their plans for handling the spike in traffic.

"We consider 99.90% uptime to be the minimum required for web shops," says Jim Jaworski, director of North American operations for Uptrends, quoted in the press release. "If your online store is not available, the (potential) customer will do their shopping somewhere else, which will result in the loss of revenue and the reputation of your company."

Jawarski added that the Uptrends monitoring tools could provide retailers with information about performance and availability, giving them the tools to react to a potential outage.

Talk back: Do provide e commerce hosting services? Do you approach your online retailer customers in advance of the holiday shopping season with any offers of upgrades designed to support spikes in traffic that come with holiday shopping? Do you make back end preparations of your own? Let us know in the comments.

Liam Eagle has worked as a contributor to the Web Host Industry Review since its inception in 2000, and as editor since 2003. He has been editor of the WHIR’s print magazine since its launch. His daily involvement in the gathering and reporting of Web hosting news and his regular interaction with Web hosting leaders gives him an uncommonly broad appreciation of the issues and tends facing the business. Through his WHIR blog, Liam spots Web hosting trends and offers opinions on the industry wide impacts of major developments and the motivation behind big announcements.

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Class Video on Testbed Network

This advancement lets users achieve steady transmission of high density video such as HDTV by acquiring a path in the network whenever it is needed, without allocating additional network resources or re optimizing the provisioned network resources.

NTT labs had previously developed i Visto, a technology to transmit uncompressed video streams through IP networks. It, however, required a very large bandwidth of more than a gigabit per second so users could not start the transmission immediately, having to wait for the network operator to allocate network resources along the transmission path.

Using high speed IP optical networking, NTT new network technology automatically sets up a very large bandwidth circuit in the optical network as soon as the user makes a video transmission request.

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Another hurdle was quality degradation, which is prevented using special equipment to measure the accuracy of the video stream packets at multiple points in the network. NTT new PC based technology that can be placed at many points in the network with the ability to observe any change in the behavior of the video stream packets changes which could result in quality deterioration.

The achievement was sponsored in part by NICT, under the and Development of Dynamic Network Technology project.

NTT plans to further enhance its network and video collaboration, allowing greater functionality, such as adaptive control, so that it can be used by broadcasters and other high end users. NTT hopes this technology will eventually become used in many other arenas that can benefit from high resolution video, such as telemedicine and e learning.

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5 Ways to Beat Exercise Boredom

You know it like you know many of life’s truths: the sun will rise tomorrow, one item always remains on a to do list, you cannot hide things from your scale or your mother, and every day, rain or shine, you need to move your body.

But knowing that exercise is essential and actually doing it are two separate concepts. "The beginning of a new routine is usually not a problem," acknowledges Ronda Gates, a lifestyle management counselor in Lake Oswego, Oregon. "It’s farther down the road, when the new lifestyle still isn’t integrated and the old one is tugging on you to return."

1. Develop a plan of accountability, says Gates. "For some people it’s simply writing information in an exercise journal, and for others it’s reporting to a coach or another person," she says. Gates offers a simple equation to motivate you: "Commitment plus accountability equals success."

2. Rely on the pleasure principle. Ask yourself what you enjoy and then incorporate that into your routine. "I hate to exercise but I like to walk," says Naomi, a legal secretary who lives in Brooklyn, New York. "I get off a stop early on the bus or train and I walk home or to work. I also listen to music. Time goes by fast and I get my exercise."

3. Seek variety. If you walk outdoors on the same path every day, attempt to notice one thing that’s different about your walk an emerging flower, the number of dogs in the neighborhood this morning or take a different route each time (even reversing direction counts!).

4. Find a workout partner. "Exercising with a friend allows you to monitor your intensity while you get caught up on one another’s news," says Gates. "If I think my exercise will be boring, meeting and walking with someone is a guaranteed cure."

5. Keep your eye on the prize. "I work out three times a week in the morning so I start my day off feeling good," says Karen, a New York based executive assistant. "I don’t enjoy losing an extra hour of sleep, but I enjoy how I feel during and after my workout."

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Candlebox was the headliner at the Moore Theatre on July 20th for a show that marked the band’s 20th anniversary! The group, who’s working on a new album for 2014, begins an extensive North American tour on September 20th in Portland, Maine. READ MORE

candleboxmoore14

VIP Meet & Greet Passes
You asked for it, so here it is.We’re getting ready to go on tour with Hinder, and we are now offering meet & greet passes to these shows.http://bit.ly/cboxvippass

Each pass comes with extra goods like our latest album “Love Songs and Other Musings”, poster, coozies – but most importantly, some personal time with us before we hit the stage that night.

I think fans who’ve done meet & greets with us would say it’s a pretty f#ckin good time. There’s a limited number of passes per show, so get yours early.

Get your VIP Meet & Greet Pass here: http://bit.ly/cboxvippass

cbox

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