Learning about Magento

We found a client who was having trouble with an OS-Commerce based website.  Since we had been meaning to learn more about Magento, we suggested that we switch her site from OS Commerce to Magento.  Two weeks later we launched the site – check it out at Perfectly Packed.

perfectly packed inc

Perfectly Packed takes the hassle out of business packing for men and women. Classic, versatile, travel-friendly coordinates make up both the women’s wardrobe and the men’s wardrobe. With multiple, coordinated pieces, and custom length sleeves and pants, these made-to-order wardrobes are stylish, durable, convenient and cost effective.

New company website up and humming…

Chris and I just completed the website for our technology consulting company, Rikuni.  The website development served many purposes: I learned more about PHP, JavaScript, and JQuery, while Chris and I worked on our Agile Development techniques.  A good experience for both of us.  See if you can figure out why we named the company Rikuni – it’s hidden on the home page.

Dietary supplements – less regulated than dog food

In case you didn’t already guess from the title, one thing that really gets me going is when people or companies claim that a dietary supplement or alternative therapy is ‘safe’ because it’s ‘natural.’  Not only can dietary supplements be ineffective, but they could actually be harmful.  The problem is that these compounds are not regulated by any oversight agency in the United States.  Any yahoo can bottle an herb and write pretty much whatever they want on that bottle’s label.  A recent article published in Nature got me going on this topic.  Titled Buyer Beware, the article ran through a case-study of the so-called anti-ageing miracle drug, reservatrol.  It started when some well-meaning researchers published preliminary results that reservatrol (isolated from grape skins) may improve and extend the lives of some lab animals.  Since we’re all looking for the fountain of youth, the media ran with it.  A decade later, the true effects of reservatrol on lifespan and other health issues is still not certain and its role in the complex aging process is not understood.  But this didn’t stop unscrupulous individuals and companies from leaping on this opportunity to market a new anti-aging miracle.  To make it worse, the FDA (the agency that regulates drug manufacturers to (usually) make sure their products are safe and effective) is under congressional mandate to NOT regulate the dietary supplement/vitamin industry.  In a perfect example of strategic naming of a bill to hide its true purpose (see the PATRIOT act), the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 actually prevented the FDA from regulating the dietary supplement/vitamin industry.  So that means not only can companies market products with false/unproven claims, there is no watchdog there making sure these same products are even safe. Continue reading