Linux Blog

Amazon Associates Account Suspension for all in NC?

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — 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 or 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, and additional information may be obtained from the Performance Marketing Alliance at

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.

Getting a Hand With Bash

Filed under: General Linux — at 8:27 am on Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If you use the bash shell, or as many know it the terminal on a regular basis then there is a package that you can install that will make your life a whole lot easier. Firstly I’ll tell you a little bit more about it.
When I first started using Linux a friend told me to install this package. I never really understood what it exactly did, but using the terminal was a whole lot easier then using the command prompt in Windows. I couldn’t explain it but things just worked. Features that were missing from Dos were there. There was awesome auto completion that knew what I wanted to type. Over the years I became more accustomed to using Linux and the Bash shell. I upgraded hardware, changed distributions and never really noticed what I was missing out on. The other day I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if I could press tab and this would auto complete. Then it hit me, the package my friend had told me to install when I first was starting out. The package happened to be exactly for this purpose. Since I was a novice and he was helping me out I didn’t really have the time to ask about the details of every single package, so here I am now letting you in on a little secret. (Read on …)

Whats your take on proprietary software?

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 11:57 am on Monday, August 4, 2008

Using proprietary software to some Linux users is considered a sin, right up there with not reading the manual. Not everyone that runs Linux feels this way. I for one don’t mind using a commercial / propriety product if the product serves the purpose well, and perhaps better than an open source implementation.

Take VMWare server for example. Although it does have its problems, it works very well for virtualization. Its pretty stable, has a good interface, works well and most of all is free. I have no problem installing and using this as long as it works.  I’ve been using it for a while, its what I’m used to and I have no problems with it. The moment VMWare Server stops working, I’ll try to find another alternative. Be it open source or not.

I don’t get why some people are so into the open source movement. Not tainting a system to me has no clear advantages. If I were to not install any proprietary software I would hardly be able to use my Linux box. Think about it, no Java (ok, I’d have the IcedTea runtime and GCJ), but no supported Java for Tomcat / Eclipse, I’d have no Flash, hardly any video codecs and no 3D accelerated graphics. My virtualization, may or may not work depending on what day of the week it was or if I had supported hardware. There is probably a whole lot more that I am missing that I don’t even know about.

So, I’m just interested to know what is every one else’s take on using proprietary software? Am I alone in being “fine” with installing closed source / proprietary software? Is my computer going to go to robot hell and sing with Bender for eternity? Please let me know your thoughts.

Linux Experts

Filed under: General Linux — at 3:46 pm on Wednesday, January 2, 2008

After researching Bomgar I thought this could be a good home business. So I started researching to see what companies out there offer Linux services. What did I find? Well, not a whole lot of anything really. I mostly found a whole bunch of junk on the web and a lot of pages with “It Works!!!” (apache setup congratulations page) domains. This made me think that the Bomgar solution could work for any one with the Linux skills needed to support customers and the time to invest in marketing such a company. It is something that I am very interested in doing.

Whilst researching this led me to another thought
“What exactly is a Linux Expert anyway?”
I still can’t come up with a way to describe it. There are so many topics that it (in my opinion) is hard to be a true “Linux Expert”. You have to be more than just a jack of all Linux related trades but also a master of communication and project management. Something most “Linux Experts” lack. I tried to come up with a good way to compare it to another field.

I could compare a Linux Expert to a mechanic. I say this because there are many types of mechanics. Some better than others, some are totally non related. Take an aircraft mechanic, this is a whole lot different from an automotive mechanic. I wouldn’t want my car mechanic working on a plane I would be flying on. This would be like having your Linux sales expert configuring your advanced partitions with fdisk. The chances are they might break something along the way. The results may not be as bad as the loss of human lives but you get the point.

In my opinion there are a lot more Linux experts out there than you think. Just like there are a lot of people who are expert mechanics but do not have the title. Every one knows some one who can fix their car because its a popular service. Are Linux experts lacking because there is no demand for Linux support? Or is it because nobody can find the real experts?

You decide & let me know!