As it turns out, WordPress theming is not all that difficult. WordPress comes with a great built in theme editor, and creating a new theme is hardly any different from editing basic webpages. The only difficulty is determining what all the classes and ids in the CSS file are referring to, considering the names are obscure and confusing. These are some useful tools and resources that sped up the learning process for me. A WordPress Theme Generator, the Theme Development Codex and the 5 Minute WordPress Theme Guide.
I recently finished reading An Ocean Of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere by Gabrielle Walker. This book was riveting from the start, traveling from labs to mountaintops, while delving through the components of the atmosphere and the scientists who discovered them.
Contrary to the title, the driving of the book is not wholly about the minutiae of the atmosphere, but also delves into the lives and personalities of the eccentric scientists who made the discoveries. It has detailed narratives of Galileo Galilei, Robert Boyle, Evangelista Torricelli, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier, Guglielmo Marconi, James Van Allen and many others. While I knew about a few of these individuals from chemistry, many others were rather obscure such as Svante Arrhenius, Joseph Black, William Ferrel, Oliver Heaviside, and Gilbert Plass.
Walker gives a chronological account of the contributions of these scientists to the field, building one discovery upon another and creating an effect of exploration for the reader. By combining such captivating anecdotes with their discoveries, Walker is able to inform and intrigue. When it finally comes to explaining the scientific principles involved, explanations are clear and understandable, fully revealing the importance and delicate nature of our atmosphere. An Ocean Of Air is exciting and educational exploration into the life sustaining atmosphere.
I’ve been thinking about online businesses recently, but as of now most of my plans have been imitations of existing business models. But numerous real world business models have not been “ported” to the net yet, and doing so would probably create a very successful business.
An online business would be great due to the lack of limitations such as distance, location, and time. Physical businesses need to hire workers, can only be open certain times of day to maintain profits, and must pay money for the store and countless other things. Online stores are free from all of these limitations and are thus much easier to maintain.
A great business model is the franchise. This is probably one of these best business models because people essentially ask you to make you money, and it is likely to be easier for the franchisee to set up shop due to the establishment of the brand name. Not only that, but expansion and brand recognition is much faster than with nonfranchises. There is also the added benefit of making your business look like an evil empire due to the numerous locations (Starbucks, McDonald’s, College Prep type businesses).
Some online stores are in fact online franchises of sorts. Cafepress is similar in that sellers set up shop under the Cafepress name, and create their own products, while a (massive) portion of profits is paid to Cafepress (making it impossible to sell thus making it useless). In fact, it is probably easier to hand print shirts and set up your own store. Basically, it’s better to print your own shirts instead of using Cafepress. But to make some money, forget setting up a Cafepress shop. Set up your own net franchise. The basic pattern seems to be create some template product (Cafepress uses mugs, shirts, underwear, etc.), allow franchisee (user) customization, reap your (the franchiser’s) profits. There are some disadvantages to franchises, but these are all real world limitations that exist due to distance. With the internet, everything is under control because distance simply does not exist, making this the perfect online model. Here is also a list of some other business models.
After seeing the new products and services revealed today at WWDC, Windows Mobile is most likely dead. Aside from a slew of fancy applications and developer features, the most notable new development was MobileMe, a service that actively synchronizes your personal content throughout your PCs, iPhones, and Macs in real time. It offers the user oriented features Windows Live combined with the synchronization of Windows Live Mesh, creating an incredibly useful service. Apple will be actually charging users for MobileMe while Windows Live does essentially the same and remains a free service. The best feature aside from the much needed 3G is the much needed price drop to $199.