Monday, November 18, 2013

How hating hunters could decimate the lion population

Please note, I do not advocate or support lion hunting in any form. I just think people need to think about this beyond  knee-jerk outrage. 

There seems to be a strong anti-hunting outrage coming from people after Melissa Bachman was photographed posing for a picture with a lion she had shot.

This post is not going to deal with the shaky morality of the protesters (for instance, why is a protester upset about a lion getting shot and not a Kudu? And if you have problems with an animal getting shot are you Vegan?). This post is going to concentrate on how those same protesters could push the lion population from "vulnerable" to "endangered".

Its simple. Many game and hunting farms breed lions. They actually breed quickly and populations of lions have to be managed. So no matter what, if you breed lions you are going to have to have some type of population control. Which normally involves a process called culling.

Most game and hunting farms breed lions for the value they bring the farm. Not only to visitors who want to see them alive, but also to the hunters that want to shoot them. A massive portion of the worlds lion populations are held on these game and hunting farms.

Lions are not cheap animals to keep. They need a lot of meat! When I worked on a game farm I used to have to give our 5 lions a cow every week to survive on. Now imagine you have a farm of 50 lions, and each cow costs R3000. That is R30 000 in cow every week you need to feed those lions.

Now if a game farm cant sell of their excess lions to be hunted, theyre certainly not going to keep many of them. In fact, since theyre really expensive to feed you will find most farmers would have to get rid of most of their lions to create a sustainable system.

This means that stopping the hunting of lions would probably result in them moving from, "vulnerable" to "endangered" in several short years. So technically, those protesting against the hunting are actually pushing the animal closer to extinction.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Funny Guy Fawkes Facebook Status

A friend of mine recently trolled Facebook with his opinion on how Guy Fawkes should be celebrated.

However, his troll post was not as funny as his next status update:

A warning to people who want to host a VPS at Afrihost

I've hosted VPS`s with many companies., Afrihost, DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Linode and even Virpus. Well actually there are too many companies to list but my point is that I have a decent amount of VPS experience.

Last year I signed a client up for a VPS at Afrihost. The market is very competitive but I thought I would give them a chance. By and large they have a decent enough reputation as a hosting company.

All went well until this month. Afrihost has out of bundle overage charges. Meaning that if you use up too much bandwidth they will charge you X amount per GB of over used bandwidth. My clients VPS came with a small bandwidth allocation of 100GB. (I best my international readers are wondering why there is such an insanely low cap)

Needless to say, everything was pretty much okay. There was the odd strange event like Afrihost shutting down my VPS for no reason and a couple of other issues but we got through them all. My client hardly ever went over their bandwidth. In the entire time I was there we got sent notifications about usage 3 times.

Things changed and one of the things that changed at Afrihost was in the month of October they did not send me any bandwidth notifications. Not a single one to warm me that I had over used. Instead what I got at the end of October was a bill for over R3000 (over $300!)... for excessive bandwidth usage.

Apparently the VPS has used in excess of 400GB and for that 400GB Afrihost charged me over R3000. Wow, was I blown away. Such a large amount deducted with absolutely no warnings! Yup, the month that Afrihost didnt send out a notification was the month that this VPS went into massive overages with them. What an amazingly convenient financial coincidence for them.

So my warning to anyone who uses an Afrihost VPS. Just remember that you or one of your clients can be hosting a Wordpress or Joomla website. It can easily be hacked.... and you are then responsible for a massive out of bundle bill. Those of us in the hosting industry know that hosted websites (especially out dated ones) are hacked a dime a dozen.

Its not just Vodacom and MTN that hit you with the OOB shark. Hosting companies are just as happy to take your money.

So a warning to all potential clients. Afrihost do not give you the option to hard cap your VPS, neither are they reliable in their notifications warning you of excessive usage. Understand that using them does add a certain amount of liability and risk to your company.

Needless to say we have cancelled all our services with them. It is not a risk we are willing to take.