quadzilla getting lazy

Looks like so called blackhat (is the term even relevant anymore?) expert quadzilla is organising a party at Oktoberfest along with other ‘experts’ where they’ll be divulging their top ‘secrets’. All for the low price tag of 5 grand. Of course, ‘If you can’t afford the cover charge then this gathering is not for you.’ Lolz

Anyone who pays that kind of money for a session needs a kick up the hole, you won’t learn anything that isn’t freely available on the net or is just plain common sense. But I have to admire the cheek of the guy who regularly blogs looking for people to buy him dinner where he’ll divulge more ‘secrets’. If you manage to get 10 idiots to pay you off and let you actually profit from getting wasted at Oktoberfest instead of spending the time infront of a computer making money, well, then kudos to you!

lisbon treaty

Last day before we all have to vote on the lisbon treaty. Since I read the facts on this before Christmas I’ve been strongly in favour of a yes vote. It’s a basic housekeeping exercise for the EU and I’m pro-europe as everyone in Ireland should be. The money we’ve received during the 80s and 90s was crazy, now we hear complaints from clueless fuckers that we’ll be sending money to the 10 accession countries. Our contribution is tiny compared to the UK and Germany, the latter has been bankrolling the EU project since its beginning.

It’s a good thing if infrastructure is improved in Poland and other countries, their economy improves and we can sell our shit to them. Some deals are win-win. I was sure this would be passed easy but with the scaremongering by the previously unknown Libertas, I’m not so sure now. All the main parties are in favour of it, does that not convice people? You only have the obsolete shinners against it (check out that united irelander blog if you’re looking for a good laugh btw).

This shouldn’t have went to a referendum, it should have been passed in parliament somehow like all other EU countries did. People don’t know what’s good for them.

outlook 2007 slow as hell

I don’t know what’s happening at Microsoft, are they losing all the good programmers to ‘cooler’ companies or something because everything they’ve brought out in the last while has been crap. Installed the new Office and they completely changed the interface for Word and Excel to make it simpler. i.e. for fucking idiots who couldn’t use a basic piece of software like a word processor. After a many a Google I managed to find where they stashed away all the useful features.

But Outlook: what the hell is going on. I tried importing my 2gb pst file and it was going dirt slow. Can’t blame it, it’s a big file so i left it overnight. It had barely got a quarter of the way in the morning. It was importing an email every 2 seconds! With about 100,000 emails it would take a while. So I split up the .pst files into 200meg chunks and only loaded 3 at a time. 600 megs of pst files, surely it can handle that?

Nope. Flicking through emails slows the whole thing down no end. This is on a new comp with 4gb RAM and a dual core at 2.4ghz. You can’t search emails with any useful criteria until installing an addon called Microsoft Search Companion which is like Google Desktop only it hogs about 4 times the resources. Every now and then with Outlook not open the system would slow to a crawl when this thing would start indexing. So I uninstalled that.

And send receive… is just unusable. It starts off lively and then just… halts. Computer completely unusable until this finishes. Hard drive whirring like it’s processing terabytes, mouse barely moving. It takes about 5 minutes to download 10 emails. Loads of people with similiar problems as me, businesses who spent 20 grand on Outlook for an entire company.

muxtape

muxtape is another one of these web 2.0 startups that get the site up now and will worry about copyrights later. Basically you signup and upload 12 of your favourite tracks, send everyone your link and they can listen to the songs through flash. Of course the links to the actual MP3s stored on Amazons (very cool) S3 service are easy to find and come with a little ‘DON’T STEAL MUSIC’ query tag variable.

I love this site, I go there everyday and pick a new tape to listen to, the amount of new music I’ve been introduced is unreal. It tends to be the real music fans who create the tapes aswell so no Rihanna or Justin in there. I hope it isn’t closed soon but it inevitably will. Surprised it lasted this long.

In the meantime, using the excellent muxtape downloader greasemonkey script that place a little download link beside each song. It’s like the last days of Napster!

leaked google guidelines on what’s spam and what ain’t

A leaked PDF from Google setting out guidelines for ‘quality raters’ when they’re doing handjobs on spam is doing the rounds on the Interweb. An interesting 43 page read albeit with no real bombshells. Had to laugh though when they were describing thin affiliates around page 35:

Recognizing thin affiliates

Clicking on a “More Information” or “Make a Purchase” button takes you to a merchant on a different
domain.
Right-clicking on an image on the page with your mouse and looking at “Properties” shows you that the
image has a different URL than the URL of the page. This indicates that the image originates from the
other merchant’s site.
Example of a thin affiliate: http://findmeatune.com/artist-Pink
This is an Amazon thin affiliate. Looking at the properties of the images on the page reveals that they
originate from amazon.com.

There is no value added (e.g. reviews, price comparison) on the page, and the value of the page is only in
the link to the merchant’s site.
You cannot complete a transaction from the thin affiliate’s site.

This site belongs to an Irish blogger in my feed that I’d never expect to be a spammer, but what Google says is gospel, eh? 🙂

Full PDF here if interested

asus eee pc review

Ordered the Asus EEE 4gb Webcam PC about a month ago but due to serious stock shortages it only arrived today. First impressions, very impressed. Here’s the obligatory unpacking photos:

Asus EEE Unboxed

Asus EEE Unboxed
Asus EEE PC Scale

Comes with a nifty little case so you can fuck it in your suitcase when you’re off travelling. And a charger, manual and support CD or something for your proper laptop which are not needed. It’s idiot proof to set up. Just enter time/date and admin password and it boots. Four tabs when it boots, Internet, Work, Play and Settings. Internet has Firefox, wireless and LAN setup, messenger and Skype. Work has open office word, spreadsheet, presentation software which all load in around 6 seconds. Also has Adobe Reader.

And the most useful app for me, is the console/shell access which you get from File Manager in the Tools menu. Allows me to SSH into my servers. Perfect. I had installed symbian Putty on my Nokia E61 but it didn’t work out. There’s just too many keys missing from a mobile – like Tab for completing Linux filenames. Simple things but without them drive you crazy. The EEE has a small but full keyboard so I can see myself using this at airports to get some coding done. Keyboards small so if you have stubby fingers like me, expect a lot of mistakes. Here’s Open Office Word or whatever you call it:

Open Office Word on the Asus EEE Pc

Sound from the speakers is louder than you would think from such a small yoke and crisp as well. Same with sound from earphones. Comes with 3 usb ports, some kind of a card reader, Ethernet port (nice surprise) and a VGA output. No CD or DVD drive of course. I ordered the optional webcam which is great quality. Here’s a shot of a youtube video on Firefox. As you can see, the video takes up all of the screen space:

Asus EEE PC on Youtube

This is one of the coolest little toys I’ve bought in a long time. It cost me 300 snots with delivery and everything from PC World Business. Can’t go wrong at that price, compare it to the Macbook Air which starts at €1700. Get the Asus EEE as your ‘cloud’ computer.

a late response to seo is bullshit

A blog post over at contrast got a lot of attention the last few weeks. Some people say it’s just linkbait but I’m pretty sure it’s how he feels. I think it shows the divide in the way web designers/developers and seo/marketers think.

This is a business. Companies hire people to design websites because they want to increase profits. (Then there’s government websites that I’m sure feeds half the industry, with incompetent civil servants flashing the chequebook but forget them). It’s no good having an all singing-all dancing website if noone comes to it and buys your products or hires your services.

I’ve taken on a few SEO clients locally and the initial meeting is always the same. Some two-bit web design firm has designed the site for 2 grand plus in some crappy WYSIWYG editor with atrocious code. One website had the template Dreamweaver JS menu that no search engine could crawl, two different domains with the same website and incoming links divided between them and internal links going to the www version and non-www version whenever the designer felt like it. So the company had a nice looking website with 3 pages indexed in Google and none ranking for terms apart from their name.

I asked Dave if a site, built from scratch and constructed using industry-standard best practices (semantic markup, IA, usability and accessibility), still requires SEO? And if so, why? … If I’m providing relevant, interesting, quality content … people will link to it and talk about it in the same way that throughout the history of modern man

If you’re creating a government site, sure. Great content and people will link to it and it will rank very easily. But most commissioned sites are business. Say you designed an overseas property site. What content can you create that people will link to – competitors certainly won’t no matter what you think of. The post talks about ‘tricks’. There’s no tricks apart from buying links, begging for links whatever it takes from good places. Spamming links only works these days to get pages indexed. He’s right that SEO is good marketing. It’s results based. If you’re not ranking the client site for converting keywords, you’re in trouble.

Next, I asked Dave if he thinks on-site SEO practices are perfectly aligned with the interests of the visitor?

I think so. The JS menu I talked about earlier, I replaced with an identical one that used indexable divs, ul and li tags. A good descriptive anchor text is good for the user and the search engine.

I asked Dave what he considers as acceptable off-site SEO practices?… This is pure bullshit. This is filling the web with crap…. SEOs of the world: be good web citizens. Stop adding to the tripe out there on the net and stop spending your time destructively gaming Google. Go out there and make something beautiful, something worth linking to… SEO is bullshit and SEO is bad. Stop it.

Anything and everything is acceptable as off-site SEO if it gets a better rank or ranks for converting keywords. Automating posting of links on forums and blogs is not illegal, it just doesn’t work anymore (except to be indexed) and can give a bad name to a website if they care about that. Write all the spammy articles you want and submit them to article networks if it works. It doesn’t, again only if you need to be indexed, which is OK for spammy .infos with pure long tail crap but no client wants this.

We’re all in this to make money and whatever works and is within the law you should keep doing. ‘polluting the internet – lolz