Tag Archive: DB

Lifevantage Terminates and Sues Major Distributor

Introduction

Jason Domingo

Jason Domingo

Lifevantage (LV) announced that, at the unanimous recommendation of its Board of Directors, it has terminated for cause its relationship with Jason Domingo and Ovation Marketing Group, Inc., one of the Company’s lead distributors. The Company also announced that it has filed suit against Mr. Domingo and Ovation in Federal Court in the State of Utah for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.  See typical market report.

The detail (see link below) shows that LV made $10.9m in 2010 and $208m in 2013 – this is despite the investigative activity into Protandim, LV’s main product, by LazyManAndMoney and others…!  Distributors were paid $91m from which $2.6m went to Domingo.  They say he was the lead distributor.

The Detail in the Lifevantage Case

The case details are on PACER – summarised here:

Case details:

2:13-cv-01037-DB Lifevantage v. Domingo et al

Dee Benson, presiding

Date filed: 11/19/2013

Date of last filing: 11/19/2013

Assigned to: Judge Dee Benson

Demand: $775,000

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Breach of Contract

Court Filings of Lifevantage v Jason Domingo

You can view the court documents (19 pages) on the attached file:

Lifevantage v. Domingo et al

 

Jason Domingo,President, Ovation Marketing Group, Inc.

Domingo has been in business for many years.  This letter of his to the FTC is dated May 28, 2006 and he states he’s been in network marketing for 14 years, meaning he started back in 1992.  Chillingly, he quotes a Dr Charles King that by 2016 one in two Americans will be involved in network marketing.  Thankfully, we don’t appear to be treading that path.

The Court Case

The letter of his makes good reading, especially with regard to the free market and in comparison to the Lifevantage court case….  In this, they claim he:

  • Has been laying the groundwork for setting up a competitive business
  • Disparaged the company
  • Is setting up a competitive business
  • Used his disposal of 90% of his stock as proof of these claims
  • Sent  an email to Randy Haag disparaging the company where he said “there is no statement too strong that speaks to the malfeasance of this management team.  Greed and ego has gripped my (sic) beautiful company by the throat.” – Stirring stuff indeed!
  • If Domingo had worked properly, they’d have paid out tens of millions more to distributors.

In total there are three main actions, divided into a myriad of clauses.

  • They want a 12 man jury public trial.
  • They want all costs.
  • They want $775,000

Malfeasance

Domingo used the word malfeasance to describe the LV management team.  I had to double-check the meaning.  It means:

The commission of an act that is unequivocally illegal or completely wrongful.

In detail, it means:

Intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong which one had no right to do. It always involves dishonesty, illegality, or knowingly exceeding authority for improper reasons. Malfeasance is distinguished from “misfeasance,” which is committing a wrong or error by mistake, negligence or inadvertence, but not by intentional wrongdoing. Example: a city manager putting his indigent cousin on the city payroll at a wage the manager knows is above that allowed and/or letting him file false time cards is malfeasance; putting his able cousin on the payroll which, unknown to him, is a violation of an anti-nepotism statute is misfeasance. This distinction can apply to corporate officers, public officials, trustees, and others cloaked with responsibility.

Well. Most of what I have seen about LV fits into that. It’ll be interesting to see how this case pans out. I suspect it’ll not come to court.

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Page versus Database Query Caching

Introduction

I’m a born twiddler.  Even though something works quite happily, I’ll try something else.

So it was yesterday. In an effort to improve the ‘user experience’ and promote a bit of feedback on this website, I’ve been twiddling with various plugins.

Caching for Speed

Some time ago I changed caching methods from Donncha’s WP Supercache to Dmitry’s Db Cache.  To be fair, there wasn’t much in it, especially then.

  • One reason was probably my sympathy for the little man!  Donncha’s plugin is heavily plugged (pun intended), and even though that’s because he’s a good programmer and the tool has super ratings, I still thought I’d give something else a go.
  • Another reason is the “emperor’s new clothes” effect!  Donncha is part of the core WP personnel and in my long and flawed life I’ve come to observe the obsequious nature of people in the most unlikely of places!  So to eliminate that, it seemed fair to try alternatives.  This is something I continue to do – i.e. not trust anyone’s word fully until I’ve tried or observed it myself.  (Heroin is like this – it’s obviously crap by observation; I can see the effect on lives and society so I don’t need to test it.  Beer is a different matter though…)

Now

I’m not an expert, but I understand the arguments behind the two methods of caching.  The query caching has actually worked very well, until yesterday.  Then, all the plugin twiddling I was doing coincided with a big pile of hits (for me!) at about 21:00 GMT, mainly sourced from http://whatreallyhappened.com/ and other linked pages.  I was getting about one every 3 secs at one point.

Then the website fell over.

I struggled to turn off plugins – my plugin permutation testing strategy now being consigned to a future date – and wondered what was happening.  The database was alive but returning failed access.  So I eventually went to bed!!

Today, I’ve gone back to WP Super Cache, cleaned out all duff caches I can find, turned off a few plugins and tested using http://ismyblogworking.com/.   Well it is!

And very nippy it is too! (for me that is… as I said, I love twiddling and I love gadgets, and I’ve probably got way too many running for dedicated web purists – but that’s me!)

Conclusion

@AmazonNever, ever, be afraid to experiment.  All I’ve lost is few hits which in the scheme of the wider universe is pretty pathetic.  But I’ve learned so much more.  I’ll possibly go into this another time.  But for now, it appears that Donncha’s WP Super Cache is super!  The problems I had some months back were a combination of other things, and to some extent they are on-going.  I’m not the first person, and I know I won’t be the last to be drawn down the wrong path when troubleshooting.  The issue of my webhost is starting to come back again.  I’ve checked out different hosts in my price band (actually that means as cheap as it’ll go…!) and they are all much the same.  People are actually having much worse downtime rates than me among all the major players in this part of the market when I’ve checked forums etc.  So that’s still to be looked at and decided upon…hmmm.  Should I pay (a lot) more for a better service or just sit…..?

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DB Cache Replaces WP Super Cache

Strangely post on March 18th, 2009
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Following on from my previous little post about DB Cache, I’ve been using it since that time and it seems to be faster to me from little old Blighty.  I use a USA based host so anything I see has to cross the pond anyway, but in a non-logged-in state, page loading is definitely faster than it was.  WP Super Cache is now consigned to the test bed of history.  Long live DB Cache, ha, ha.

Seriously, DB Cache is faster than no caching and Super Cache from my viewpoint, and in the end, that’s what counts.  And BTW, my permalinks work fine now, Hurrah!

Paradoxically, since this time, my host has had quite a few drop-outs and the web access has been lost intermittently.  One time was due to the database server falling over but the rest have been web server issues as far as I can tell.  The mail server has worked okay even when the web server has been off, as has the customer service system server!  I can’t see how the DB Cache plugin is doing this – it’s just co-incidence, I’m 99% sure.  Anyway, I’ve politely told iXWebhosting that their chances are running out and they’ve been very apologetic etc etc.

Watch this space!

Links:

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Trying a New WordPress Cache Method

Strangely post on February 16th, 2009
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve decided in my twiddling madness, to try a new caching plug-in;

DB Cache

So far, it seems to be quicker at page loading compared to the previous caching method, WP-(Super) Cache, which isn’t bad considering all the ones and zeroes are crossing the Atlantic Ocean to get to my humble abode.

Whether the claimed times and query counts are true, I don’t rightly know.  All I know is that I’m a bit of a clueless c**t at this lark sometimes and rely wholly on personal observation.

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studiomaster diamond compact 4-2

Mixer Pictures from Paul

Mixer_003 Front Panel
Mixer_002 Back Panel
Mixer_001 Main Board

These are the best pictures Paul can get. I just received them today. But what does it all mean?

This is my appraisal.

It’s a very simple four channel mixer. It doesn’t appear on the Studiomaster website, so it must be quite old and obscure. A mention is made here on this website for a similar model.

Here’s how I see the circuit board on a point-by-point basis in no particular order, just as I come to them:

  • It’s a little mixer using @9V supplied by an external “brick”, say. This limits the p-p voltage swing to something less than 9V, say 8 to 8.4V. This is only 4x line voltage but as that is p-p and the line is rms, it’s only going to give you a few dB gain.  Check out the formula for comparing p-p voltage to rms of a sine wave.  There’s a lot of difference.
  • The half hidden sub-board has a diode close to the 9V input which will probably protect the unit from a wrongly connected power supply.
  • On the main circuit board I can see four identical preamp stages. They aren’t in line with the pot controls but you can spot them as the bunches of four electrolytic capacitors. Squeezed in each group are two little black transistors (little D-shaped thingies). These are probably something like BC182s or similar. These two transistors will most likely be connected as common emitter for the first stage and common collector (aka emitter follower) for the second stage.
  • Because there are only the two active components, to maintain linearity the gain will be quite low, set to be just enough to amplify a microphone signal, no more.
  • It will also be quite bandwidth limited to keep the gain-bandwidth product down. Basically I wouldn’t expect a full 20Hz-20kHz range and this seems to tally with Paul’s observations.
  • There is probably an extra stage or two of amplification and buffering on the little half-hidden board that holds the line inputs and outputs. This will drive the line outputs. It’ll provide a high input impedance to the four channel outputs, being fed in by a resistor network to split and take signals from the mic preamp outputs and the line inputs.
  • I can’t tell from the board how the “gain” controls work. There are two main options:
    1. Have the pot in the negative feedback path of the preamp.
    2. Have the pot across the second transistor output with the slider giving a variable output to the mixer stage.
  • The mixer is unlikely to be an op-amp using a virtual earth mixer. Unlikely, but not impossible as it’s really the best way to do this.
  • In the preamp, the four capacitors will be providing DC decoupling, probably two in series on the input and output and one dangling off the emitter paralleled with a resistor to the 0V rail.
  • The two larger electrolytic capacitors will be to smooth the main power rail and reduce any extra mains hum that will arrive with a cheap consumer “brick” power supply.
  • Examining now the resistors surrounding each preamp. In a fully set-up single transistor amplifier stage, I’d expect to see a minimum of four resistors to set the bias currents etc. Maybe add a couple with a couple of low capacitance capacitors to set the operating frequency range. That is, about six per transistor. Check the picture and there are about a dozen around each preamp, so that’s about as I expected.
  • The low value capacitors are the small dull orange components. As I thought, there are two in total per preamp.
  • Most resistors are mounted end-on to conserve space so I can’t see the values. However, even if I could, without seeing the circuit board tracks and the type and thus pin-out of the transistors, I can’t draw a circuit diagram from it with any certainty. It’s just the general principles I can see at work here.
  • It’s likely that the inputs could have high or low impedance sources thrown at them. The input impedances will probably be set as a compromise.
  • A better look at the half-hidden board may provide me with more info.

Conclusion

It’s a little cheap mixer with no pretensions to hi-fi. You’d maybe use it to quickly mix a few mics together for a conference or garden party sort of affair. What’s needed for this is a nice flat mid-range and no bottom or top to make it easy for an unskilled person to get something going without feedback etc. This unit fulfils that purpose admirably.

If you are wondering where the 6dB of amplification has gone, I don’t think it’s gone anywhere, unless the power supply isn’t managing to chuck out 9V when it’s connected (you could check that with a meter when it’s working). It’s the way it is, from what I can see. You could always stick another amplification stage into the output. You’d only need 2 transistors and associated components and about a 2cm of circuit board to squeeze into the box. It could be a nice little project for your soldering iron!

Plugging crystal quality sound through the unit will thoroughly muddy and truncate the sound spectrum. Of course, it’s up to one’s artistic sensibilities to determine the “goodness” of it all… :-D

I’ve added a few books that might build on the knowledge for this post – SP

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