Saturday, 5 July 2014

Brazil seals win over Colombia, reach the semis!

  Brazil hung on by its fingernails in the final 10 minutes of the match, but advanced to the World Cup semifinals, edging Colombia 2-1 in Fortaleza on Friday.  Captain Thiago Silva scored early in the match and David Luiz gave Brazil a 2-0 lead with a rocket of a free kick in the 69th minute.   Leading scorer James Rodríguez brought Colombia within one when he scored on a penalty in the 80th minute but the Colombians couldn’t tie it.  Germany stands in the way of Brazil’s return to the Maracana for the World Cup final. The two sides clash in the semifinal on Tuesday.  But the host nation will be holding its collective breath, as Neymar was carried off on a stretcher in the final moments of the match, after he was fouled hard and appeared to injure his back.

Germany reach record fourth-straight semifinal!

  Germany reached the semifinals for a fourth straight World Cup by beating France 1-0 Friday in a cagey match settled by a first-half header from Mats Hummels.  The center back headed Toni Kroos' free kick in off the underside of the bar in the 13th minute in one of the few chances created in muggy conditions at Maracana stadium.   Germany will play Brazil or Colombia in the semifinals on Tuesday as it seeks a fourth world title. France struggled to impose its attacking game in the face of a robust, experienced Germany side that seemed more comfortable on the big stage.  Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema had France's best chances saved in the first half, with the German lineup holding off late pressure with apparent ease.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Belgium defeats US 2-1, books date with Argentina!

  Belgium overcame a world-class goalkeeping performance and a furious American comeback in extra time to book a spot in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, edging the U.S. 2-1 on Tuesday.  The Belgians applied nearly constant pressure on the U.S. defence before breaking through in the 93rd minute, when Kevin De Bruyne made a great move in close and finally put a shot past Tim Howard.   Romelu Lukaku added a second Belgian marker in the 105th minute, which seemed to seal the win for Belgium.  But the Americans sparked back to life in the 107th minute, when Julian Green brought the U.S. back within one with a great volley.  That provided a grandstand finish to the match, but the Americans couldn’t find another goal.  Howard had a magnificent game in the American net, as Belgium directed 38 shots on goal, forcing 16 saves out of Howard, the most by any keeper so far in Brazil.  Belgium faces Argentina in the quarter-finals on Saturday.   

Argentina scrape 1-0 extra time win over Swiss!

  Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute Tuesday to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Switzerland after extra time and a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.  With a penalty shootout looming, Lionel Messi made a surging run toward the Swiss area and laid the ball off to Di Maria on the right, and the winger sent a left-foot shot past diving goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. Blerim Dzemaili nearly equalized right before the end but his header hit the post, and the rebound bounced off his knee and wide of the goal. Benaglio had previously kept Switzerland in the game when got a hand on Di Maria’s shot in 109th minute.
Argentina will play the winner of Belgium and the United States.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Costa Rica prevail in penalty shootouts to reach quarters!

 Goalkeeper Keylor Navas was Costa Rica's hero as his penalty shoot-out save put ten-man Costa Rica into the World Cup quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw in extra time against Greece in Recife. Los Ticos will face Netherlands in the last eight following a hard-earned shoot-out win in a tense, cagey match between two of the surprise qualifiers for the knockout phase.

Bryan Ruiz scored seven minutes into the second half, when he spotted Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis out of position and simply side-footed the ball into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.   Oscar Duarte was then sent off 14 minutes later for a second yellow card - a decision he accepted without a murmur - but the Central American side appeared to have held on until Greek defender Sokratis chose the perfect moment to score his maiden international goal, an equaliser in injury time.  Only a fine save from Navas prevented Greece from pinching it at the death - and Navas was again the hero with a brilliant save from Theofanis Gekas.  Only a fine save from Navas prevented Greece from pinching it at the death - and Navas was again the hero with a brilliant save from Theofanis Gekas. 

Saina Nehwal wins Australian Super Series!


Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal produced a dominating performance to lift her second title of the season, winning the $750,000 Star Australian Super Series after beating Spain's Carolina Marin in the summit clash here on Sunday.

The sixth seeded Indian, who had won the India Open Grand Prix Gold earlier this year, prevailed 21-18 21-11 in a 43-minute contest which left her richer by $56,000.

The 24-year-old Saina, who enjoyed a 1-0 head-to-head record against Marin going into this match, logged the first point and displayed some deft net play against her rival, stroking in some delectably timed volleys to take a 5-2 lead in the opening game.

But the 21-year-old Marin was not the one to give up easily and showed just why she is considered one of the most feisty players on the circuit. She narrowed the gap to 6-8 but seemed distinctly out of her comfort zone every time Saina dragged her towards the net.

Also, Marin didn't help her cause by committing a service error to gift an easy point to Saina, who went into the interval leading 11-7 after an intriguing rally which ended with the Spaniard smashing the shuttle wide.

Marin raised her game and the decibel levels after the break but Saina was quick to counter-attack and returned her rival's attempted smashes with quiet intensity.

In between, Marin played some fine strokes but they never came consistently enough as Saina made it 17-12. Marin's dogged determination was there to be seen in every point she played for but that alone was never going to be enough to upstage a composed Saina.

The Indian, who didn't seem affected at all by Marin's aggressive outpouring of emotions after every claimed point, sealed the opening game 21-18 after her world number 11 rival smashed one into the net 23 minutes into the match.

Dutch survive Mexico scare, in quarters!

  A stoppage-time penatly from Klaas Jan Huntelaar earned the Netherlands a dramatic 2-1 round of 16 win over Mexico in Fortaleza on Monday morning.  After a scoreless first half in sweltering heat, the breakthrough came in the 48th minute when Giovani Dos Santos unleashed a devastating long-range strike that dipped into the bottom corner.   The Dutch pressed for an equaliser, coming closest when Stefan de Vrij's header was incredibly kept out by Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa, but seemed unable to break a stubborn defence.  ​That was until the 88th minute, when Wesley Sneijder pounced on Klaas Jan Huntelaar's header and belted home from the edge of the area to equalise.  With extra-time looming, disaster struck for Mexico when Arjen Robben was clipped in the area, allowing Huntelaar the chance to win it from the spot - a chance he duly took.  The Netherlands, fortunate to scrape through, will now play either Costa Rica or Greece in the quarter-finals.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Rodriguez powers Colombia to quarters, face Brazil!

  James Rodriguez scored twice to put Colombia into the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Saturday. Colombia will play host Brazil in the last eight. Rodriguez gave his team the lead with a stunning long-range volley on the turn in the 28th minute and added the second from close range shortly after the break as Colombia dominated a Uruguay side that sorely missed banned striker Luis Suarez.   Rodriguez now has a tournament-leading five goals in Brazil and further enhanced his status as perhaps the tournament's biggest revelation.  Uruguay, meanwhile, struggled badly in attack without Suarez and his replacement Diego Forlan was substituted in the 53rd after a disappointing performance in what was probably his final World Cup appearance.

Brazil beat Chile in dramatic penalty shootout!

  Brazil beat Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup quarter-finals after their dramatic last-16 match in Belo Horizonte ended 1-1 after extra time.  Chile's Gonzalo Jara missed the vital spot-kick after Neymar had converted for Brazil.  Brazil went ahead after 18 minutes when Thiago Silva nodded on Neymar's corner and David Luiz was on hand at the back post to bundle the ball over the line, though replays suggested Chile defender Gonzalo Jara got the last touch.  Chile got back on level terms in the 32nd minute when sloppy defending let in Alexis Sanchez, who fired past Julio Cesar from close range.  Hulk had a goal disallowed for using an arm to control the ball and although Brazil dominated the second half and extra time, Chile almost stole it in the final moments when Mauricio Pinilla hit the bar.  Brazil, who beat Chile 3-0 at the same stage four years ago in South Africa, will face Colombia or Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

Friday, 27 June 2014

50 lakhs to 1600 crore: The magic of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi!

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The National Herald case in is the news because a Delhi court has summoned Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in connection to a petition.

That it is not strange, guilt is decided after a trial, not at initial step of even deciding if a trial is necessary.

However, this is a unique case no matter how one looks at it. Indeed, the facts make the events seem almost magical. And they are certainly long and full of twists. Let us have a look.

On the face of it, or at least according to the Congress party's version of events, it was an act of charity - helping out someone who was in favor to the party.

However, as per the allegations made by BJP's Subramanian Swamy in his case against Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, matters take a strange turn once you dig deeper.

Here are the facts of the case -

Associated Journals is a limited company, having shareholders. Motilal Vora, treasurer of the All India Congress Committee, was a chairman in the company..

The company was in the business of printing newspapers - the National Herald and sister publications Navjivan (Hindi) and Qaumi Awaz (Urdu).

Point to note: The National Herald was a newspaper that Jawaharlal Nehru started in 1938, so basically that paper, and the company that publishes it, has a deep link to the Congress party.

Associated Journals had accumulated huge debts and was basically bankrupt. At some unspecified time, they received a loan of Rs 90 crore from the Congress Party - interest-free – to clear all their debts.

When questioned on this 'loan' by a political party (using its funds) to a non-political entity (something they are not supposed to use their funds for), Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi had the following to say -

"This support was extended by the Indian National Congress in the form of interest-free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to INC...

In furtherance of its object and its political activities, it is a matter of pride for the Indian National Congress that it has supported The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of the National Herald and other newspapers, founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937, which have played a role in our freedom movement.

The Indian National Congress has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land,"

So the Congress Party gave a massive loan to Associated Journals to pay off all of their debts, because of sentimental reasons and historic connections.  Even though there is little proof the money was used to pay salaries or other debts. In fact it is difficult to find what the money was used for exactly.

However if that was all that had occurred, obviously a Delhi court would not have said - "The chain of circumstance appears to give rise to a conclusive or irresistible inference of an agreement between the accused to commit the offences as alleged in a pre-planned manner,"

That is where the second half of this tale comes in.

As per a Business Standard report, Young Indian is a non-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act. It was created for the following object -

“The company is engaged in activities to inculcate in the mind of India’s youth commitment to the ideal of a democratic and secular society and provides for application of its profits or income in pursuit thereof.”

You can read in detail what a section 25 company is at the end of this article here

In 2010, just one month after Young Indian was incorporated, the board of Associated Journals decided that they would transfer 90.2 million shares at Rs 10/share to it.

The same was completed just two months after Young Indian was formed.

By virtue of this shareholding, Associated Journals becomes a subsidiary of Young Indian, with all of its liabilities paid out by the 'loan' from the Congress Party.  In return for this consideration, Associated Journals accepted a payment of Rs 50 lakhs from Young Indian.

To quote the accounts filed by Young Indian auditor Pradeep Shah in 2012,

"In pursuit of its objects, the company has acquired loan owed of Rs 90,21,68,980 by the Associated Journals, presently engaged in achieving a recast of its activities so as to have its main object congruent to the main object of the company, for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh,"

So Associated Journal agreed to transfer their loan to Young Indian for Rs 50 lakhs. The Congress Party, to whom this loan has to be paid out, is losing Rs 89.5 crore.

Actually, as per the Business Standard report, the Congress party is not even going to get that Rs 50 lakhs since Young Indian has "capital of Rs 5 lakh (got through the issuance of shares) and loans of Rs 1 crore".  They have not objected to this loss, at least publicly.

What did Young Indian get for its Rs 50 lakhs?

As per this Firstpost report, the properties of Associated Journals, which now effectively belong to Young Indian and which include Delhi’s Herald House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, is estimated to be worth Rs 1600 crore.

A profit of 99.96 percent! Quite a steal for Rs 50 lakhs.

Now, many companies are sold cheaply once they are bankrupt and under huge debts.  But the tale is not ended yet – because here at last, is where the Gandhis enter.

As per another Firstpost report, Young Indian has just 5000 shares. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi owned 1,900 shares each. Motilal Vora, Congress Treasurer, and Oscar Fernandes, party General Secretary, own 600 shares each.

Motilal Vora, it should be remembered was also a chairman of Associated Journals.

So through this long and complicated route, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi are now proud owners of property worth Rs 1600 crore (at least), in the heart of Delhi.

While is plenty more to the story - complicated and vague accounts that are practically impossible to understand, strange book entries, unusual transfers, lack of transparency etc., this is where the crux of Swamy's complaint lies.

He alleges that the Congress Party used its political fund, meant for political activities only, to buy the Gandhis Rs 1600 crore worth of property, in exchange for Rs 50 lakhs, losing Rs 89.5 crores in the process.

If proven, then the allegations he makes contain several instances of fraud, insider trading and generally bad business and political processes.

The main questions raised are –
  • Why did Associated Journals, which could have easily made several hundred crores just by the sale of their properties, take the loan from the Congress Party? 
  • Why did Associated Journals sell itself for just Rs 50 lakhs?
  • Why did Associated Journals sell itself to a vaguely-defined, unknown and brand new non-profit company, instead of approaching other publishers or companies engaged in similar activities as its own?
  • The Congress Party initially claimed the money was to revive the National Herald paper. Are there any plans, or have any steps been taken since 2011, to achieve this?
  • The Congress Party also claims their money was used to pay salaries of 700 employees, but there is no clear proof that this money was used for this purpose at all. So where did the money go?
  • Is the Congress Party now going to get its money back from Young Indian, or is that money gone forever?
  • Since Young Indian is essentially owned by the Gandhis and other Congress Party office bearers, does the Congress Party intend to recover its money from them?
  • While the Congress Party may end up losing Rs 90 crores, isn't it amazing how the Gandhis seem to have made Rs 1600 crores from just Rs 50 lakhs?
  • Doesn't the Congress Party want its money back?
  • What exactly is Young Indian, supposedly promoting "India’s youth commitment to the ideal of a democratic and secular society", plan on doing with Associated Journals?
  • What happens now to Associated Journals vast properties?

Quite possibly more questions will emerge as the days go on.

In the end, it may emerge that technically no major laws have been broken, and on the surface it certainly seems so.

While no one can be surprised the Congress Party is willing to take a huge loss for the first family, it is difficult to image Rahul and Sonia Gandhi emerging from this mess without a major political scandal.

The case is ongoing.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Lionel Messi: 10 reasons why he's the world's greatest player

1. Balance: At 5ft 7in, Lionel Messi is just two inches taller than his idol Diego Maradona, and shares the same astonishing balance and lower body strength. This allows Messi to move laterally at incredible speed, which is why he darts inside flat-footed left-backs with such ease. 

2. Composure: Messi wastes few chances once through on goal, and rarely snatches at a shot. Once into the penalty area, he will often wait for a goalkeeper to commit himself before drinking the ball over him and into the net. 

3. Control: Like all true greats, Messi doesn't need one touch just to control the ball. Instead, his first touch often doubles as the opening stage of a goal-bound surge. 

4. Dribbling: If there's one strength which elevates Messi above the rest of the world's great players, it is dribbling. The ability to beat a number of defenders in succession makes him a truly unique talent, and, at times, almost unstoppable. Although spectacular, there is nothing ostentatious in Messi's dribbing, he's runs are often lethally direct. Just like Maradona, Messi is a largely one-sided player, rarely using his right foot once he reaches full speed. But his magnetic control of the ball with his left is so extraordinary that he can go inside, outside, or through the legs of a defender. 

5. Generosity: Messi puts a dent in the idea that forwards must be selfish to score goals. Although, on occasion, he can be guilty of ignoring better placed team-mates, Messi isn't motivated by personal glory. That's the reason why he's got more assists to goal as compared to his rivals.

6. Passing: Messi has the vision and deftness to pick out his team-mates & we've seen numerous example's of his passing ability.  

7. Power: Messi is an artist & does not rely on power. He prefers the scalpel to the shotgun, but  he is able to generate great shooting power from outside the penalty area, and do so with a barely perceptible backlift.  

8. Speed: With the small, squat build of a sprinter, Messi has incredible acceleration from a standing start. He bursts out of the blocks and reaches full speed within five yards, the kind of pace which defenders find so difficult to deal with. His short stride means he is also able to change direction at nauseating speed while keeping control of the ball. 

9. Awareness: Unlike other natural dribblers, Messi keeps his head up while on the move. This gives him options, so if a team-mate has found a pocket of space, Messi will release the ball with a deft flick, then look to receive it again, just like a great fly-half in rugby. That he is surrounded by such intelligent players, who use the ball with such alacrity, means his runs are picked out more often than not. 

10. Strength: Kicking Messi doesn't work, as lots of tough defenders across the world have understood it very well. Again, the Maradona comparison is impossible to avoid when discussing Messi's strength, as the bravery and tenacity he shows in possession is equal to that which was the hallmark of the legendary player. Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency as a child, which meant he learnt his trade against bigger and stronger opponents, lessons that have remained with him.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Vote as an Indian, not as a Hindu or Muslim!

India is once again going to polls. Another huge exercise that is going to take weeks will incur hundreds of thousands of crore of rupees. As many as 814 million people are eligible to use their franchise in the biggest democratic exercise in the world history.

This is an ideal time to send right message to the people who are made to listen to almost every word of the netas, big and small, left or right or for that matter center. This is an ideal occasion to make people forget their differences and make them bond as Indians and only Indians.

While the nation enjoys festivals of all hues, Holi, Deepawali, Onam are celebrated by Hindus across the nations, Christians celebrate Christmas, Good Friday and a couple of other festivals, Sikhs enjoy Gurpurab, Vaisakhi, Parsis celebrate Navroz and Muslims Eid al Fitr, Eid al Azha, Muharram besides others, there is one festival that is equally enjoyed by them all. And this is Lok Sabha election that is celebrated every five years.

Everyone, irrespective of the difference of his language, dialect, religion, region whether he or she lives in hills or plains or in the faraway places like Andaman and Nicobar Islands, wants to be part of the festival.

It is tried to ensure that every information about election, candidates, constituency and polling booths reaches the voters living even in the remotest parts of the nation. Just the other day a newspaper splashed the means by which poling materials including EVMs are taken to the polling booths and I was amazed to see even elephants, camels and small boats being deployed to take the election to the end voters.

This is an ideal occasion to create brotherhood, love, and an air of togetherness of people of all races, religions and castes living within the confines of India. But sadly the opposite is the case.

The occasion is used by politicians of all hues to divide the nation. Just the other day Samajwadi Party stalwart Azam Khan claimed on top of his voice that Kargil was liberated by a Muslim soldier. I am amazed how on earth he found that a lone Muslim soldier of the Indian Army went alone to liberate the ice capped peaks of Kargil. This war launched by mindless former Pakistani general Pervez Musharraf was one of the most bizarre instances of war mongering in the Indian subcontinent. Azam Khan’s comment was no less bizarre.

But apparently it is not Azam Khan alone. There are others with more brazen statements that increase communal divide in a nation that seems to have been purposefully dragged into communal cauldron.

Owaisis in Hyderabad are known to spew venom. They say that it sells. And so they must sell it in the market at the time of elections. I have seen a few videos by the Owaisi brethren and I found them harrowing.

But apparently they are not alone. There are Togadias, Amit Shahs, VK Malhotras, Uma Bhartis and any number of other rabble rousers who come with daggers and venoms against everyone who don’t buy their ideology of hate. Just the other day Amit Shah talked about badla (revenge) in Muzaffarnagar, a district that has suffered communal violence merely months ago.

But I should admit that our own ilk, the media, also plays an equal role in spreading this divisive ideology among the unsuspecting people across the nation.

While our forefathers who fought for the Independence and the unity of the nation, gave up everything to make people of the nation feel like brothers and sisters, we are slowly trying to undo the Himalayan task that they accomplished prior and after Independence.

Mahatma Gandhi gave his life to preserve the communal amity in the country. With his blood he reared communal harmony that looked lost somewhere in the aftermath of the unfortunate partition of the country. He was the man who was the icon of togetherness and created a bond of brotherhood among Indians.

Another iconic personality whom we are starting to forget is Abul Kalam Azad. India’s first education minister and a former president of the Indian National Congress,  Azad was not just a political leader, but a statesman, a laureate and an alim par excellence. His words are worth billions.

Azad who became the President of the Indian National Congress at a very young age of 35 years said in his presidential address “even if an angel descends from heaven with a gift of freedom for India from Allah I would not accept it until there is Hindu-Muslim unity as loss of India’s freedom is loss of India but loss of Hindu-Muslim unity is loss of entire humanity”.

There were many others who were intoxicated by the love of the nation and who wanted to bring unity and communal amity in the country. These were the people who tried to give up everything for its sake. Hussain Ahmad Madani, one of the stalwarts of the freedom movement who talked about composite nationalism believed that Muslims and Hindus were destined to remain together in India.

His book ‘Muttahida Qaumiyat Aur Islam’ is a living testament as to how the nation called India is the confluence of Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Muslims. He was the man who was in the forefront against Muslim League’s divisive politics and had strong faith in the secular foundations of the Indian nation.

We are in the midst of another national festival called general elections and a clarion call for the communal amity and togetherness is going to take the nation forward. Divisive words of Azam Khan, Owaisi, Amit Shah, Togadia or anyone else for that matter should be silenced and the atmosphere of communal amity must be preserved across the nation to give the nation a big boost. 

Courtesy: Syed Ubaidur Rahman

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP!

What is Windows XP end of support?

Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported?

Which version of Windows am I running?
How do I stay protected?

To stay protected after support ends, you have two options:
Upgrade your current PC

Very few older computers will be able to run Windows 8.1, which is the latest version of Windows. We recommend that you download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8.1 and then follow the steps in the tutorial to upgrade if your PC is able. For more detailed information, read the FAQ.

Download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant

Tutorial: Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows XP

Get a new PC

If your current PC can't run Windows 8.1, it might be time to consider shopping for a new one. Be sure to explore our great selection of new PCs. They're more powerful, lightweight, and stylish than ever before—and with an average price that's considerably less expensive than the average PC was 10 years ago.
Find your perfect PC
How do I move all my Windows XP stuff to a new PC?

You can move your Windows XP stuff with Laplink, a free data migration solution that will walk you through all the steps to getting your files, setings, and user profiles from your Windows XP PC to your new Windows laptop, desktop, or tablet. (Note that you will need your Windows XP PC to migrate your data, and you can only migrate to a PC running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.)

Learn more
What do I get with Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 makes it easy to do all the things you're used to doing with Windows XP while opening up a whole new world of possibilities for you to explore and enjoy.

Find out about all the exciting things you can do with the new Windows

Monday, 24 March 2014


In this lesson we cover the basics of building and publishing doorway pages.

Recall the outline given in Lesson #8 for Building and Publishing:
Building Your Doorway Page
- Browser compatibility issues
- Resolution compatibility issues
- Loading speed
- Language, grammar, and spelling
- Graphics refinement
- Navigation issues
- Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
- Space requirements
- Code writing
Publishing Your Doorway Page
- Choosing an ISP
- Contract issues
- Uploading your site
- Registering your site
- Maintaining your site

Everyone sees the Internet from the perspective of their own computer. Most people have only one browser installed and running on his or her computer . As browsers differ somewhat in the way that they interpret and display the code they read from retrieved Web pages, we see Web pages somewhat differently than other users with different types or versions of browsers. Also, people use different resolutions on their monitors or have their monitors adjusted differently. This doesn't have much significance until you start the process of designing your own Web page. What you see when you look at your own Web page may not be exactly what others else see when they look at it.
Although Internet Explorer and Netscape are by far the most common browsers, they behave differently from each other and each has had several different versions to date, with each version behaving somewhat differently from previous and subsequent versions. When you add in the different monitor resolution settings, there are quite a number of possibilities as to how a Web page will look from computer to computer. Just because your Website looks good on your computer does not prevent it from being a jumbled mess on someone else's screen. For example, if you design your site to fill your screen using 1024x768 resolution, only a portion of your page will be seen on a monitor using 640x480 resolution.

Sophisticated Web designers deal with this problem with Java or other code that reads the browser version of each computer before it is displayed. The code that is sent to the browser then depends on which browser is reading the page. An appropriate page of code will be sent to each browser version. Such designs are expensive, however, and are not feasible for the novice Webmaster to code for themselves. Another approach is to use basic, standard HTML code, which is compatible with all browsers, and build the page so that it looks good on a variety of different platforms. With a little time and research, this is within the reach of the novice Web designer. It is better to build a simple page anyway. Simple can be quite attractive.

Another reason to keep your page simple is the loading speed. Research suggests that the amount of time viewers will wait for a page to load depends on how valuable they expect the page to be. However, if they are not already convinced the page will contain value for them, they will not wait very long. Thus, a doorway page has to load very fast. The simpler the code and the fewer graphics and script it contains, the faster it will load.

When you use graphic designs and photos on your main page, keep them small. You may give your viewer the option of waiting to see a larger version of the photo by clicking on it if you think it will be important to them. Do not make them wait for the large photo to load on the main page. These smaller pics which click through to larger versions of themselves are called "thumbnails." Using thumbnails helps to keep your main page fast loading.

Also, keep the number of graphics and photos as small as possible on your doorway page. I once knew a would-be Web designer who designed a beautiful page for a local agency. The page was truly beautiful, but had one small problem—it took 25 minutes to load through the average modem. Finding the right balance between using graphics and fast loading speed is the key to an effective page.

How many of you noticed in the outline listed in the last lesson that the word "grammar" was misspelled? For those of you who noticed that, how did it affect your reading of the last lesson? How did it affect your feelings about the competency of this course in general (before reading here that we did that on purpose)? It made a difference, didn't it? While not everyone notices small errors, it makes a difference to those who do notice them.

It goes without saying that you should take care that the written content of your page does not contain glaring errors in language, grammar, or spelling. While electronic communications such as chat rooms, e-mail, and, to some extent, even Web pages are more tolerant of such errors than the print media audience, it will make your page much more effective if you take care to draft your wording wisely and effectively and use proper grammar and spelling.

It is not advisable to grab the free clipart from popular clipart pages to build your Website. That same clipart is probably already in use on thousands of other pages precisely because it is free and readily available. In addition, clipart is not really what you want on your page. You need graphics which provide identity and flow. Clipart tends to be cute rather than professional. The novelty has worn off for the popular clipart. It would be better, in my opinion, to have fewer graphics on your page than to use clipart. Small buttons and arrows are ok, but use the subtle ones. Flashy animation can detract from the flow of your page.

It takes both art and science to develop professional-looking graphics. Knowing the right resolution to maintain quality appearance within acceptable loading speeds is crucial. Reducing an image or a scanned or digital photograph to the desired size and resolution without distortion can be a tedious task. You need to have good graphics software and some knowledge of how to use it. In sizing your images, remember again that different people use different resolutions on their monitors. The relative size of the image on a screen will depend on the resolution of the monitor on which it is viewed. The standard graphics file formats across all browsers are .GIF and .JPG. Thus, you want to put your graphics in one of these formats. You need to put the size of your image in the HTML image code to speed loading. Otherwise, the browser has to determine the size of the image first in order to allocate the space for the image on the screen, slightly reducing loading speed.

Also refine your graphics for visual effect. If you have sophisticated graphics software, you can slightly adjust your images to pull the eye in the direction you desire to promote the flow of your page.

If you have more than one page on your doorway site, the method you provide for visitors to move around your site is of utmost importance. Each site with more than a couple of pages needs a well thought out navigation scheme. Navigation of the site is accomplished, of course, by the insertion of hyperlinks that move the visitors to other pages on the site. A doorway page should not have too many links because it has a directional purpose. Links that are used should be clearly identified and should lead the viewer logically through the information on the site. Links can also give your visitors a choice of the content on your site. A navigation bar across the top or side of your page should be sufficient for a doorway page. Some links within the content itself may be appropriate, but do not overburden your visitors with choices. Links, like footnotes, can be distracting from the flow of your content.

Be sure to include return links to bring your visitors back into the directional flow. You don't want your visitors to wind up at a dead end somewhere because they clicked on a hyperlink. A navigation bar on every page can be a safeguard against this. By "navigation bar" we mean a set of links placed together with some symmetry of design. When you create a navigation bar, you can then just copy the code and paste it on your other pages.

Including a Privacy Policy for your site will give your site a professional feel and provide a comfort level to your visitors. Your Privacy Policy is simply your statement of what information you intend to collect from your visitors and what you intend to do with that information.

There are two ways to collect information from the visitors to your site. One is to have the visitor fill in information on a Web form. The other way is to collect information by capturing the CGI variables that accompany the request to retrieve your page. This less-obvious method is cause for more feelings of insecurity for your visitors. When surfing the Web, a browser sends out a signal to the Web server hosting the desired page. That signal says, in effect, "Here's my IP number, send me your page." The page is then sent to the computer so that the browser can read the code and display the page on the screen. The signal sent to the Web server also contains some other information, such as the user ID, the type and version of the browser being used, and other information.

Thus, even if you do not collect personal information with a form, it is a good idea to include a Privacy Policy stating your intentions as a Web host with respect to the personal information you could be collecting from the CGI variables accompaning the requests for your page. If you do collect information with a form, it is even more important to have a clearly stated Privacy Policy on your site.

"Terms of Use" is different from the Privacy Policy. Terms of Use is where you make legal declarations which may protect you against liability if someone misuses the information on your page or injures themselves somehow while trying to use information you have provided. If you have a discussion board or other means for your visitors to post information to your site, your Terms of Use can set the rules for participation. Terms of Use can also be used to claim intellectual property rights in the information on your site, including the information posted there by others. Discussion of all possible legal issues that may need to be addressed and how they should be addressed in your Terms of Use is beyond the scope of this course. Competent legal advice should be sought if you feel you might have any liability issues with respect to your site.

Finally, you should approximate the size of your site in terms of bytes of disk space needed, including all images and graphics you will be using. Take into account future updates. Make sure that the size of your site matches the server space available from your host.

Coding a Web page can be very simple or very complicated, depending on what you try to do and how you try to do it. It is beyond the scope of this course to teach you HTML, and it would be reinventing the wheel if we attempted to do so. There are countless tutorials for HTML on the Web itself. Just go to any search engine and search for "HTML help" or "HTML Tutorial" and you will get a wealth of information. If you learn better with a book in hand, I would recommend Creative HTML Design.2: A Hands-on HTML 4.0 Web Design Tutorial with Cdrom available from Barnes and Nobles. Barnes and Nobles also offers a free online course in Web design under "Online Courses." Excellent online courses can also be found at

If learning HTML gives you a headache, but you don't want to hire a design firm, you have two other alternatives. You can install an HTML editor on your computer and use it to build your code. Free editors are even available at such sites as However, some HTML editors take more time to learn than HTML code itself, so be careful in your choice. Your other option would be to use a site like Bigstep allows you to build and host a Website using their forms system, which is easy to use and does not require any knowledge of HTML.

Web pages reside on Internet Servers. While it is possible to host a page from your own computer, you would need to have Internet Server software installed and configured, and you would need a continuous high speed connection to the Internet. In addition, you would also need a permanently assigned IP number, which is used to find your page. If it changes each time you connect, your page will be lost to the Internet.

Thus, you need to find a hosting service for your Web page. You want one that has a lot of bandwidth so that your site will be served up fast, even at busy times. You will want one that has good support. If you have problems getting your page on their server, you want to get someone on the telephone to work out the problem. You also want one that's going to stay in business. At the time of this writing, a popular free Web hosting service just went belly up and left a lot of affiliates without a site (many did not even have a backup copy of their HTML code)! Websites went offline and the phones were disconnected with little advance warning. Thus, while free is nice, you may prefer to pay a reasonable fee for hosting of your site to ensure that you get good support and that your site will not just disappear.

You should consult an attorney before entering into any important contract. It is beyond the scope of this course to identify all issues that may be important in your hosting contract. Some issues that are usually important, however, are the following.

How much disk space and bandwidth are you allotted for the base fee? What are the charges for exceeding the diskspace or bandwidth limitation. (Bandwidth is used each time someone retrieves your page—approximately the same amount as the size of your page in diskspace.) What notice will you be given when the base allocation is exceeded?

What is the term of the contract? That is, how long are you committed for? Can the price be increased during that time?

Who pays for the domain name registration with the registration service—you or your host? For how many years will the name be registered? Who is responsible for renewing it?

Make sure you maintain ownership of your domain name if you are registering one. I knew an unscrupulous ISP that registered all of its Web customers' domain names as its own. When anyone tried to change services, they were told they did not own their domain names.

Make sure you maintain the intellectual property rights for your own site, even if the ISP is hired to design it.

What editors do they support? What CGI support do they have? Do they provide database integration? If so, for what platforms?

Find out what the updating charges will be, if any. What access do you have to update your site on your own?

What backup procedures does the ISP use and are copies available to you?

Do you get e-mail addresses with your domain? How many?

What will the ISP do to promote your site, if anything?

What exactly will happen if you fail to pay on time? Will an embarrassing notice be posted in place of your site?

Again, these are just a sampling of the things that may need to be spelled out in a written contract with your hosting service. You should consult an attorney regarding any other issues that may be important in your particular situation.

Another thing to discuss with your hosting service is how you will get your site on their server. Some hosts support FrontPage, which is an editor that has a unique way of uploading the Website. If you build your site with FrontPage, you will need FrontPage support on the server, not only to upload it, but for it to work at all on the host's server. Otherwise, the most common method is FTP (File Transfer Protocol). You will need FTP software on your computer. I would recommend WS_FTP LE which can be downloaded with a free trial from You will need to find out the FTP address to your Web directory from your host and the username and password to access it.
Some hosts allow you to send in your page and its updates as e-mail attachments or through an uploading form on their Website.

"Registering Your Site" can mean two different things. If you want your own domain name, it must be registered with ICANN through one of the registration services, such as Network Solutions. The registration service must also be supplied with the proper DNS numbers for the primary and secondary DNS servers for your host. If you registered your domain name before you acquired your hosting service, you will need to make sure that your host's DNS numbers get listed in your registration profile with the registration service.

The term "registering your site" is often used to refer to registration with search engines. There is no one definitive place to register your site. There are countless search engines on the Internet now. Fifteen or so of them are generally considered to be the important ones because they get 90% of the traffic. Registering your site with the search engines can be a complicated process, which we will begin to discuss in the next lesson.

Doorway pages can be very useful in promoting affiliate programs. They allow you to target specific audiences and lead them to your target link. Doorway pages allow you to optimize search engine acceptance and placement. Building and publishing your own doorway page can be an exciting and interesting adventure.

Our next lesson will introduce you to search engines.