The customer information center we operate on behalf of a national used cooking oil (UCO) collection program has expanded to 14 service providers, over 20 service depots with roughly 300 staff members serving approximately 20,000 restaurants and commercial kitchens in over 1,500 cities across 40 states.
Collectively this provider community has registered over 830,000 waste oil collections on over 46,900 trips. They have collected over 44 million gallons of oil that has thus been kept out of landfills, sewers, rivers and landscapes and the atmosphere. Most of the UCO has been converted to biodiesel, which has kept approximately 980 million pounds of carbon (CO2
) out of the air we all share.
Our job is to keep track of schedules, project need, route travel, record collections and report to regulatory agencies, all of which happens over the worldwide web using databases and user interfaces created by Clark IP. We have been doing this since 2008; we've been developing systems for the web since 1994. Uptime for the oil collection system has exceeded 99% the entire time; the longest single outage in the past five years was due to a power failure at an upline provider and lasted under three hours. If that sounds like we're bragging, we do feel pretty good about it.
Have a deep breath on us and another on our customer!
UPDATED: Jan. 16, 2017.
We have added capacity to CPU, memory and storage to accommodate increasing traffic.
The Onion, an online news parody site, was recently invaded by hackers. The tech team posted the following linked article. It describes how the deed was done and gives some tips your organization might use. Note the references to Twitter, which was a point of vulnerability.
Our in-house social networking tools are receiving as much emphasis and interest as our other, more conventional services. These tools allow our clients and others to attach social networks to sites hosted by us or elsewhere and to personalize the site experience and make it more participatory.
We've received a particularly malicious spam message. You should watch for it and NOT open the attachment, which in all probability contains malware of some sort.
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
THIS RETURN ADDRESS DOES NOT EXIST.
Date: November 16, 2009 9:00:48 AM PST
Subject: your mailbox has been deactivated
We are contacting you in regards to an unusual activity that was identified in your mailbox. As a result, your mailbox has been deactivated. To restore your mailbox, you are required to extract and run the attached mailbox utility.
Best regards, clarkinternet.com technical support.
A .zip file was attached.
Among the objections we hear when talking with prospective website owners is that they can get "the same thing" free somewhere. We thought it was about time to repeat an article we ran a couple of years ago on the subject. Caveat emptor.
Read more about it
For the first time ever, notebook (laptop) sales have surpassed desktop sales, according to research cited in a recent article in Eweek. In the third quarter of 2008, notebook PC shipments rose almost 40 percent compared with the same period of 2007 to reach 38.6 million units. Conversely, desktop PC shipments declined by 1.3 percent for the same period to 38.5 million units, according to the report.
The authors note that small to midsize business owners should carefully consider their needs before moving from a desktop- to notebook-based business.
Clark IP has recently implemented for a client a web application that manages collection of waste material that is converted into a new renewable fuel. The application manages customer relations with several thousand independent producers of the waste stream, schedules pickups, routes travel and tracks collections.
You can make printouts of your web pages more attractive by adding a style sheet that hides the site navigation. You just add some code to the style sheet of your Sitemaker CMS site. This code precedes or follows your other custom styles in its entirety.
You can also place in in the style sheet of a single page if that is more appropriate for your situation. The technique will work with any standard Sitemaker layout. Highly stylized layouts may require additional terms.
The example shows how to hide the standard navigation areas of your page.
List pages in our Directory tool now have additional information and one functional change, installed today, April 18. Each listing now shows a document icon linked to the listings brochure or personal page. The envelope icon now takes the user to the brochure page and is no longer linked to the email form. Finally, a small red question mark indicates that contact data are missing.
The removal of the email link was occasioned by the increasing problem of spam to listing owners. By moving the email function to the brochure page additional "tunneling" is required, which increases the burden on would-be spammers. We found that when a similar change was made to the new-listings feature the amount of spam from that feature went down.
Standard Biodiesel of Arlington, WA, recycles waste vegetable oil (WVO) into clean-burning diesel fuel that boasts lower emissions, longer engine life and better performance.
Clark Internet Publishing has created a custom Web application to manage routing of WVO collections and customer service for Standard Biodiesel. The same system will be expanded in 2008 to manage plant operations. The entire system is designed for seamless expansion to additional production facilities.
Clark IP's Rees and Gavin Clark have been associated with SB since its early planning stages, assisting in the creation of the original business plan and consulting on the business concept and operations.
The linked article appeared today in The Seattle Times on April 9, 2008.
Read more in The Seattle Times
Here at Clark IP, we're currently working on an exciting data management project with a recycling firm in the Northwest that collects sows' ears and turns them into silk purses (pardon the metaphor, but we cannot use their name right now). The project entails monitoring collection and distribution of the reusable materials from over 2,000 sources and the distribution of the products to a growing number of outlets.
The client needed to replace a customer service management process that was straining the limits of a widely used, desktop contact management program. The source material was backing up at client locations, and production of recycled products was lagging.
Our approach was to offload the data, parse the entire database and migrate the data into a fully relational, MySQL database with PHP middleware driving a web interface that lets managers, production supervisors, drivers and customer support staff access and maintain information from any web browser.
Following a planning and development period lasting about three months, we're happy to report that the system launched with only a couple of page-positioning errors that were quickly handled, and the staff abandoned the old method for the new after only three days of experimentation. The backlog of source material in the region has been reduced from 122,000 units to 82,000 units in about ten days of active collections.
Next to our Journalmaker and Sitemaker tools, this is our largest project to date, and we look forward to presenting a more complete case study later this spring.
Legislation introduced by Rep. Ted Markey last week renews the fight over "net neutrality" and would require ISPs to remain "neutral" in transmitting content. Clark IP supports the principle of net neutrality. The related article from Macworld has more information. ISPs have taken to using the euphemism "shaping" to describe their manipulation of your prepaid connection. Getting what you pay for? Maybe not.
We have been informed by certain of our upstream providers that they will be relocating key equipment including some of ours during the coming days. UPDATE: The operation is now scheduled for Saturday night after 5PM according to our provider.
During the operation Clark IP web and mail servers will be briefly unavailable.
This will occur some time between Friday morning and Sunday night if all goes as planned. We have been told that the relocation will take only a few minutes; the time required to shut down, repower and restart our server(s) is typically about fifteen minutes, but could be longer when added to the physical relocation.