Amazon Cloudsearch - Environment Variables, Errors and Settings

For a recent project we had to improve the current search functionality and results for an eCommerce store. After considering the various options available that were within the budget and the limited time available to implement the chosen solutions we settled on Amazon Cloudsearch.

For a recent project we had to improve the current search functionality and results for an eCommerce store. After considering the various options available that were within the budget and the limited time available to implement the chosen solutions we settled on Amazon Cloudsearch. Keep reading…

Credit Card Transaction Process

When a customer pays for products or services with a credit card, the card information is recorded—either by manual entry, a card imprinter, point-of-sale (POS) terminal, or virtual terminal—and then verified so that the merchant can receive payment for the transaction. This process involves the following parties: Cardholder: the owner of the card used to […]

When a customer pays for products or services with a credit card, the card information is recorded—either by manual entry, a card imprinter, point-of-sale (POS) terminal, or virtual terminal—and then verified so that the merchant can receive payment for the transaction.

This process involves the following parties:

  • Cardholder: the owner of the card used to make a purchase
  • Merchant: the business accepting credit card payments for products or services sold to the cardholder
  • Acquirer: the financial institution or other organization that provides card processing services to the merchant
  • Card association: a network such as VISA® or MasterCard® (and others) that acts as a gateway between the acquirer and issuer for authorizing and funding transactions
  • Issuer: the financial institution or other organization that issued the credit card to the cardholder

Basics_Credit_Card_Flow_Diagram

The flow of information and money between these parties—always through the card associations—is known as the interchange, and it consists of a few steps:

  1. Authorization
    The cardholder pays for the purchase and the merchant submits the transaction to the acquirer. The acquirer verifies with the issuer—almost instantly—that the card number and transaction amount are both valid, and then processes the transaction for the cardholder.
  2. Batching
    After the transaction is authorized it is then stored in a batch, which the merchant sends to the acquirer later to receive payment (usually at the end of the day).
  3. Clearing and settlement
    The acquirer sends the transactions in the batch through the card association, which debits the issuers for payment and credits the acquirer. In effect, the issuers pay the acquirer for the transactions.
  4. Funding
    Once the acquirer has been paid, the merchant receives payment. The amount the merchant receives is equal to the transaction amount minus the discount rate, which is the fee the merchant pays the acquirer for processing the transaction.

The entire process, from authorization to funding, usually takes about 3 days. However, Merchant Card Processing from Bank of America offers next-day deposits to customers with a Bank of America business checking account.

In the event of a chargeback (when there’s an error in processing the transaction or the cardholder disputes the transaction), the issuer returns the transaction to the acquirer for resolution. The acquirer then forwards the chargeback to the merchant, who must either accept the chargeback or contest it.

Source:
Bank of America

I am in no way affiliated to Bank of America, I just thought this was great information on the entire credit card transaction process.

Tags:
credit card transaction process
how credit card transactions are processed
credit card process diagram

The Universal Mobile Phone Charger - 2012

At last there is now an official plan to introduce a universal charger for mobile phones. The GSM Association (GSMA) together with the initial industry leaders such as 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone have pledge to introduce a […]

At last there is now an official plan to introduce a universal charger for mobile phones. The GSM Association (GSMA) together with the initial industry leaders such as 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone have pledge to introduce a universal charging solution (UCS) by 2012.

They have decided on micro-usb charger connection such as the one found on the Blackberry Storm.  UCS chargers will also include a 4-star or higher efficiency rating, which is up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated chargers.

There is also the potential to cut up to 50% of mobile phone chargers being manufactured each year, resulting in a potential drop of 13.6 to 21.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses each year.

Sources:
http://www.gsmworld.com/newsroom/press-releases/2009/2548.htm

Problems upgrading to WordPress 2.7.1 with 1and1.com host?

If you are having problems upgrading to 2.7.1 from version 2.7 using WordPress’s new Automatic Core Upgrade feature, remember that WordPress requires that you to be running php 5 in order for it to work. So if you are hosting with 1and1.com all you need to do is add the following line to your .htaccess […]

If you are having problems upgrading to 2.7.1 from version 2.7 using WordPress’s new Automatic Core Upgrade feature, remember that WordPress requires that you to be running php 5 in order for it to work.

So if you are hosting with 1and1.com all you need to do is add the following line to your .htaccess file (which you can file in the root directory):

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

PHP: Convert Html Entities to Xml Entities

I have made a small change to this great function by regin (via sourcerally.net) to use the preg_replace instead of str_replace as I found it to be much faster when dealing with large xml files. This function comes in handy when creating xml files  and you need to quickly convert all the html entites to […]

I have made a small change to this great function by regin (via sourcerally.net) to use the preg_replace instead of str_replace as I found it to be much faster when dealing with large xml files.

This function comes in handy when creating xml files  and you need to quickly convert all the html entites to the correct xml entities, reducing errors. Else if you need to load an xml file with simplexml, libxml etc and you get undefined entity error, you can start debuging by converting all the entities correctly first as this is often the problem.

Function:

function xmlEntities($str){

$xml = array('"','&','&','< ','>',' ','¡','¢','£','¤','¥','¦','§','¨','©','ª','«','¬','­','®','¯','°','±','²','³','´','µ','¶','·','¸','¹','º','»','¼','½','¾','¿','À','Á','Â','Ã','Ä','Å','Æ','Ç','È','É','Ê','Ë','Ì','Í','Î','Ï','Ð','Ñ','Ò','Ó','Ô','Õ','Ö','×','Ø','Ù','Ú','Û','Ü','Ý','Þ','ß','à','á','â','ã','ä','å','æ','ç','è','é','ê','ë','ì','í','î','ï','ð','ñ','ò','ó','ô','õ','ö','÷','ø','ù','ú','û','ü','ý','þ','ÿ');
$html = array('/"/i','/&/i','/&/i','//i','/ /i','/¡/i','/¢/i','/£/i','/¤/i','/¥/i','/¦/i','/§/i','/¨/i','/©/i','/ª/i','/«/i','/¬/i','/­/i','/®/i','/¯/i','/°/i','/±/i','/²/i','/³/i','/´/i','/µ/i','/¶/i','/·/i','/¸/i','/¹/i','/º/i','/»/i','/¼/i','/½/i','/¾/i','/¿/i','/À/i','/Á/i','/Â/i','/Ã/i','/Ä/i','/Å/i','/Æ/i','/Ç/i','/È/i','/É/i','/Ê/i','/Ë/i','/Ì/i','/Í/i','/Î/i','/Ï/i','/Ð/i','/Ñ/i','/Ò/i','/Ó/i','/Ô/i','/Õ/i','/Ö/i','/×/i','/Ø/i','/Ù/i','/Ú/i','/Û/i','/Ü/i','/Ý/i','/Þ/i','/ß/i','/à/i','/á/i','/â/i','/ã/i','/ä/i','/å/i','/æ/i','/ç/i','/è/i','/é/i','/ê/i','/ë/i','/ì/i','/í/i','/î/i','/ï/i','/ð/i','/ñ/i','/ò/i','/ó/i','/ô/i','/õ/i','/ö/i','/÷/i','/ø/i','/ù/i','/ú/i','/û/i','/ü/i','/ý/i','/þ/i','/ÿ/i');

$str = preg_replace($html,$xml,$str);
$str = preg_replace($html,$xml,$str);

return $str;
}

Associated Errors:

  • Just some errors which you might be able to resolve using this funtion:
    • Undefined entity at line
    • Entitynbsp‘ not defined
    • Entityamp‘ not defined
    • Entitypound‘ not defined
    • Entity&lt‘ not defined

Links:

http://www.sourcerally.net/Scripts/39-Convert-HTML-Entities-to-XML-Entities

Basic Routine XP Maintenance - Batch File

I wanted to schedule some basic maintenance tasks for my laptop to run once a week, so I decided to write this batch file for Windows XP to run Disk Clean Up and then do a Defrag. Once Off Setup: Extract the files to a folder of your choice Then click on: Start Run Type […]

I wanted to schedule some basic maintenance tasks for my laptop to run once a week, so I decided to write this batch file for Windows XP to run Disk Clean Up and then do a Defrag.

Once Off Setup:

  1. Extract the files to a folder of your choice
  2. Then click on:
    1. Start
    2. Run
    3. Type In: cleanmgr /sageset:11
    4. Click OK
    5. Then select which option you would like Disk Cleaner to run each time
    6. Click OK
  3. Then if your hard drive letter is not c: then you need to edit the file:
    1. Right Click on pc_maintenance.bat
    2. Click on Edit
    3. Then scroll down to the Defrag Section
    4. Enter the drive letter (More instruction available in this section of the file)
    5. Save the file
  4. Schedule the task:
    1. Click on Start
    2. Control Panel
    3. Scheduled Tasks
    4. Click on Add Schedule Task
    5. Click Next
    6. Click on Browse
    7. Navigate and find the folder that you have extracted and select the file named pc_maintenance.bat
    8. Then enter a name for the task and select how often you would like to run the task (I suggest not running the task less than once a week)
    9. Then click next until you have completed the setup

Download:

  PC_Maintance_Windows_XP (3.1 KiB, 61 hits)
You need to be a registered user to download this file.

Wikipedia needs your support

The vision of the Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia is: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” They are trying to raise $6 Million dollars to achieve their goal, so why not give a little? How many people can say they […]

The vision of the Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia is:
“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

They are trying to raise $6 Million dollars to achieve their goal, so why not give a little?

How many people can say they have not used Wikipedia, I know I used it on a daily basis and cannot imagine the Internet without it?

Donate Now:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate/Now/en

Changing to a new domain?

If you are moving your site to a new domain name and want to redirect all your current traffic as well as inform all of the search engines as they crawel your site of the move to the new, you can place the following code in your main include file or each file individually. if($_SERVER[‘HTTP_HOST’] != “www.your-new-domain-here.com“){   header( “HTTP/1.1 301 […]

If you are moving your site to a new domain name and want to redirect all your current traffic as well as inform all of the search engines as they crawel your site of the move to the new, you can place the following code in your main include file or each file individually.

if($_SERVER[‘HTTP_HOST’] != “www.your-new-domain-here.com“){
  header( “HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently” );
  header( “Status: 301 Moved Permanently” );
  header( “Location: www.your-new-domain-here.com
“.$_SERVER[“REQUEST_URI“]);
  exit(0);
}

Voodoo programming

Voodoo programming (a term derived from ‘voodoo economics’) is a tongue-in-cheek term for using a programming device, system or language which one does not sufficiently understand. The implication is that the code written either should not work, or that the programmer does not understand why it works. It serves as a kind of incantation. The […]

Voodoo programming (a term derived from ‘voodoo economics’) is a tongue-in-cheek term for using a programming device, system or language which one does not sufficiently understand. The implication is that the code written either should not work, or that the programmer does not understand why it works. It serves as a kind of incantation. The term can also apply to doing something which you know should not work, but actually does work, such as successfully recompiling some code which refused to compile the first time. Some voodoo programming is probably due to glitches, subtle bugs (such as uninitialized data), or incorrect/misleading documentation in the compiler, APIs, or operating system.

It is similar to black magic, except that black magic typically isn’t documented and nobody understands it.

A person with experience of voodoo programming is sometimes called medicine man or witch doctor, such as “Java medicine man” or “C++ witch doctor” as equivalent for guru or wizard; the traditional terms imply high sophistication, study and knowledge over the matters and discipline, while voodoo programming implies getting things working but not fully understanding why.

Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voodoo_programming

Developers are in pain and we all need a hug

Thanks To: The Blomsma Code – Hug a developer! Hug a Developer (We’re In Pain) — Ardent Dev

Thanks To:

The Blomsma Code – Hug a developer!
Hug a Developer (We’re In Pain) — Ardent Dev

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