Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Note: RSS subscribers can skip this post.

As Spring comes to a close, it seemed like the right time to clean up the clutter that has accumulated here at the Truth Rally blog. I've noticed load times increasing, so the first thing to go was the YouTube widget. Ever since Warner Music Group demanded that their content be removed from YouTube, the playlist has been in a perpetual state of flux anyway, as one video after another has been yanked. Besides, I'm probably the only one viewing any of the videos. As you might recall, the music videos were merely test content; the purpose of the Truth Rally channel is to host how-to videos for users of our site.

Next, I thinned out the blog labels, which numbered near 200. Yikes! I consolidated and removed over 70 of them, but there were still too many to fit comfortably on the page. I was unable to find a widget that supported a scrollable or expandable label list, so I just removed the labels. "Let them use search." Finally, I reduced the number of posts per page to five, and deleted one of the AdSense ads. The blog is now spruced up, and loads noticeably faster.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pardon the Interruption

I haven't posted in nearly three weeks—by far my longest hiatus since starting this blog last October. There are two primary reasons: one bad and one good. The bad one is that I had to contend with some non-company-related matters; the good one is that we have been so busy coding the new site that I just haven't had the time. We are currently on schedule to begin alpha testing next month.

In the coming weeks, I will be writing about the issues we have faced designing and implementing a Drupal-based Web site, as well as the resources that we have found the most helpful in this undertaking. I had originally planned on writing about each issue as we contended with it; however, given that this is our first Drupal site, the resolution of several problems has unsurprisingly followed a meandering path. Not only would multi-post descriptions of this type be largely unhelpful to readers, but they would also stray too far from the intended business focus of this blog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Annual Review Board Scam, Part 2

We received a vague form letter from the Attorney General's Public Inquiry Unit in response to the complaint I filed regarding Annual Review Board. Unsatisfied with the uninformative letter, I called the PIU and spoke with a representative. He spoke in generalities and disclaimers until I said those three magic words: Annual Review Board.

He gave me a brief history of the situation, and I told him about the blogosphere's involvement in alerting would-be victims. The upshot is that this company—by stating in their solicitation that their service has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency—is in compliance with California state law. Apparently, some judge, in his or her infinite wisdom, decided that charging more than 11 times the actual fee to file a Statement of Information, without adding any value, is, in fact, a legitimate service. Does law school fog the mind?

Despite the fact that this company is obviously preying on unsuspecting LLC owners, they are not technically breaking any laws—at least, according to the aforementioned ruling, which in my opinion defies common sense. So if you fall for this scam, you will have a very difficult, if not impossible, time recouping any of your money. Take a minute and google any solicitations you receive to ensure they are legitimate before getting out your checkbook.