IT


www.dotproject.net

is a nice open source software and a cheap solution to manage projects online, especially, if two teams or companies from different countries work together.

dotproject.net offers features like handling different projects, tasks, a calender, forums where you can discuss projects, email-notification if a team member gets a new task and much more.

Recently I received a bid invitation in Chinese language. They explicitly mentioned, that companies which launch a bid should not copy any contents, designs or logos from third parties.

I guess, except of the fact, that the invitation was in Chinese, this is a good hint, that most of the competitors will be Chinese companies.

In China, there are several services, which offer online banking. Big online shops like Taobao.com offer sederal online payment methods

  1. Credit card payment. This method is not yet popular in China because not many people use credit cards – but certainly, the number is increasing fast.
  2. Services like Paypal. This means, the clients makes a bank transfer to the account of this online banking service. After the client received the payment, the online banking service will transfer the money to the seller. The most popular service in China is Alipay.com which was foundet in October 2003 as part of Taobao.com and is a standalone business since 2004. According to its website, Alipay has about 33 Million clients already.
  3. Prepaid card. This means, you have a prepaid card provided by this this online shop (if you are a regular client for example – or there is a discount on this payment method). You can charge this card at some banks, which have an agreement with this online shop. When purchasing a product, the payment will be deducted from your prepaid card.
  4. Online account, which is actually similar to those prepaid cards. You just transfer money to your shop online account, your username is normally your email-address and the payment will be deducted from your account. You can charge your account at the China Post, which cooperates with many online shops.

Of course, payment in advance (which is not very secure in China) and payment at delivery are very popular in China.

According to a statistics at http://www.iresearch.com.cn/html/Online_Shopping/detail_views_id_10850.html on iResearch in 2005 43,2% choose payment in advance, 41,8% online banking service and 34,7% payment in cash at delivery. Only 1,7% choose mobile phone payment as payment method.

Businessmen searching for new IT-projects, should check the Korean market. Korea is the top IT-country, I guess in no other country (except of Japan perhaps) where people are willing to invest so much into luxuries, IT and education.

I get many business ideas in IT (and I have lots of ideas myself), 90% of those ideas are already realized somewhere else and even more of them are already realized in Korea. If you need new ideas, it is a good idea to check the korea internet market.

A few clients (and ourselves) have hosted several websites in Germany but update them from China. This was sometimes really anoying because of the slow internet connection.

Today we updated a few websites to typo3.4.1 – the result is amazing and the developers did an excellent job. The backend is faster, the Ajax page-tree is loading faster.

Working with typo3 will be much more fun for us and our clients in China.

P.S.

On some versions, we had problems with the editor. We opened a page in the page tree, wanted to edit a page conten, but the editor did not load. The solution is quite simple: You just have to uninstall the editor completly (this also means removing the files in the /conf/ext -folder with the extension manager).

After this, you can see the newest version of the editor in the extension manager.

Everybody is happy now!

A client wanted to order a website design. I asked him about his ideas, if he had a company logo and I tried to get all the information I need to make the client happy.

Hm… he wanted me to create the website, another designer was already working on the logo. I should just leave some space on the website, so the other designer could just put the logo there. I even did not know, which color the logo should have.

That’s a way to create some corporate design – I really want to get to know this other graphic designer. If he really knows how to create a logo which fits into every website design, I will hire him immediatelly.

One of my clients is actually thinking about putting an article about his company in wikipedia. After Microsoft’s deal with an american expert to “improve” an entry about OpenXML and the negative media reaction, I told him that it was probably not the best idea.

Companies which do advertisment in blogs, wiki-systems and forums always have to exspect bad feedback. You can probably do some advertisment in forums which where established for this purpose but misusing wikipedia for advertisment does not make a good impression.

In the United States it seems to be a big business to pay bloggers or “experts” to correct wikipedia entries.P.S. What a pity – you still can not reach wikipedia from China.

Google has been trying to establish its trademark worldwide, but has encountered some problems on the way. In Europe for example the company G-Mail (www.gmail.de) has already been registered for six years. Due to this fact Google cannot use the domain gmail.de and had to rename the service in Europe to googlemail instead of Gmail.
Recently Google encountered a similar problem in China, as the domain gmail.cn is also already taken. ISM Technologies which claims to be china’s largest domain registrar and is backed by the Chinese government refuses to sell the domain. Google has also had problems with domains recently in Poland with the domain gmail.pl, however the case in China may be more problematical given that intellectual property issues in China can become complicated by politics. The Chinese gmail.cn website also offers mail services. Google has no t yet tried to sue the company.
In china Google has already owns web addresses such as google.cn or google.com.cn and is competing with the local search engine Baidu (www.Baidu.com).

A friend of mine told me the following story:

He was just having a short break in an cafe with a friend, both where using their laptops, checking a few websites. Suddenly his friend, who is working in a middle sized enterprise in Germany, said, he wanted to send him a few files (very big ones). – How did he want to sent those files? – No problem, they could just share a folder somehow. They were using the same “system” in their company, he already shared the folder and my friend had access to it now.

Only then, he suddenly realized, that actually every member of the (unsecured) WLAN in this cafe could also see his files shared files.

Small hint: If you share folders in a company and exchanging data via a network, you should be careful when connecting to unprotected WLANs, for example at home or in the internet cafe.

Either you change the status of your shared folders back to normal or you have to make sure, that you firewall settings do not recognized the WLAN as “secure area”.

I guess, that is the least you can do to protect your company secrects …. :)

We recently registered a new domain for a Chinese language website. It is a new project and we do not exspect too many visitors at the beginning – so we decided to host it on a shared server with an american company.

After a while, we started to wonder, why we could not reach the domain from China. After a few tests, we found out, that the IP-address of this server is blocked from China, after we made a short server check, we actually found out, that a few websites with …hm…. with sexual content were also hosted on this server.

Again tried to safe money on the wrong place. I guess, we have to make a server change now.

Fortunately, it was no client’s website but an own project.

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