Linux Blog

Amazon Associates Account Suspension for all in NC?

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 9:00 am on Friday, June 26, 2009

Not that I use Amazon Associates a whole lot, but I got this message from them saying that I can no longer get referral fee’s from Amazon.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 26, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com after June 26. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date.

Please be assured that all qualifying referral fees earned prior to June 26, 2009 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with our regular referral fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 26, 2009, any final payments will be paid by September 1, 2009.

In the event that North Carolina repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to North Carolina residents.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s website is http://www.ncleg.net/, and additional information may be obtained from the Performance Marketing Alliance at http://www.performancemarketingalliance.com/.

We have enjoyed working with you and other North Carolina-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.


Best Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

I have no idea what the “tax collection scheme” is but I’d like to know more about it. Going to the websites they recommend doesn’t really help me as I don’t want to scan through pages just to find the answer.

To me it seems like it would be a good idea for them to reject, as what is stopping an LLC from registering in another state and using the service? If anyone in NC relies heavily on associates this could prevent them from operating, perhaps forcing them to relocate to another state, taking any business and therefore taxes elsewhere. I’m just a small player, I might have got a few referral sales (not from this site) but for those that do heavy affiliate marketing, it might have an impact. This is just on the client side, I’m wondering if it would affect any of the service side. A lot of money is made through services like this, for example Google, so I can see why NC wants a piece of the pie and apparentelly Amazon doesn’t want to pay. I have had no notice from other services.

Oh well, we’ll see how it pans out.

A Manpage Template for your Scripts

Filed under: Shell Script Sundays — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:44 am on Sunday, June 21, 2009

So, you just finished that killer script and the first thing you want to do is write that man page for it right? Not exactly? What do you mean?
Writing a man page isn’t that hard and will give your users an idea of how to use a script.

Here is a basic template for creating your own man pages:

.\" This is a comment
.\" Contact Owen@thelinuxblog.com
.TH man 1 "21 June 2009" ".1" "Man Page Example"
.SH NAME
Man \- Example Man Page
.SH SYNOPSIS
Example Man Page
.SH DESCRIPTION
This is an example of a man page.
.SH OPTIONS
No options for this man page
.SH SEE ALSO
man(1), groff(1), man.config(5)
.SH BUGS
No known bugs for this template, except you might want to replace the quotes if you copy from my blog.
.SH AUTHOR
Owen (owen@thelinuxblog.com)

When you’re done with the gruelling task of writing documentation (which your users won’t read or thank you for) just plop it the correct man section in /usr/share/man
That’s all there is to it!

Lite Reading : a Review of SQLite by Chris Newman

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:45 pm on Monday, June 15, 2009

SQLite This review is sort of a long time coming. The book is simply called SQLite. SQLite (the book) was written by Chris Newman (0-672-32685-X) and is one of the books in the Developer’s Library from InformIT. Books in the Developer’s Library are designed for programmers as high quality references and tutorials on technical subjects. I believe that this is the first book that I have read and personally owned in the series. The book’s “tag-line” so to speak is:
A practical guide to using, administering, and programming the database bundled with PHP 5
and hits it right on the mark. While the book is small it packs a punch. Chris Newman makes it a point to go into detail where needed and skip the parts that are not necessary. One one of my gripes about programming books is that they contain too much programming and logic basics.

The book is split up into three logical parts, Part I consisting of General SQLite Usage, Part II Using SQLite Programming Interfaces and Part III SQLite Administration.

Part I has four chapters the first not being entirely necessary for the SQL guru, but I learned a few things that I would not have known otherwise, and it was a quick read if you skip the basic SQL stuff. The second through forth chapters are on actually working with SQLite such as the structures, syntax / usage and query optimization.

Part II is a chapter for each interface (PHP, C/C++, Perl, Tcl and Python.) Whether you use each of these technologies or not is irrelevant since it is invaluable as a reference if you wished to use your existing databases with these languages. Reading all of these chapters are not needed if you have no intention of using the language right away.

Part III discusses administration and the SQLite Virtual Database Engine. For me just wanting to learn SQLite the section on the VDBE was a little overkill, but interesting none the less. I like that it was included and think it will be useful in the future.

Overall I think SQLite has a good balance for SQL newbies and seasoned gurus just wanting to quickly get up to speed and implement SQLite. It has everything I’ve needed and then some for my tinkering with SQLite.

Snort IDS Introduction

Filed under: General Linux,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:15 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2009

I haven’t posted here in a while so here is a presentation that I did at a local security meeting about the Snort IDS. Not much on its own but gives an introduction on Snort with a few slides about IDS’s a few on writing Snort Rules. On the demonstration slide is where I did a demonstration that didn’t exactly go as planned. I swear it worked at home using Nikto, but its all good since I had a friendly crowd. The additional resources slide shows some great resources for learning about the Snort IDS. So hit my document on scribd!