Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Commenting on a blog with the express purpose of improving PageRank

PageRank as in Larry Page -  Larry, one of the principles of Google - or it could refer to "page" as in web page and the ranking of such pages in the Google, or other search engines, indices.

There is no point in making comments on most blogging platforms and placing links to a website that you may be trying to promote. In fact, it makes you look stupid! If you want to be taken seriously by those that know how the Web works you should know what Google and other large web operators do to combat spam on their blogs, websites and forums.

In fact, even on Google Blogger if you make a comment and add the URL to your profile it will also have a rel="nofollow" attribute added to the link:
The link above I added the rel="nofollow" attribute to it. This is so you can see what sort of operator uses this technique and how their Blogger page is full of nonsense and looks like it is just a place to put advertisements. 

Not only will this technique not work it is also an indication that the person that made the comment did not read the note that I have on my Blogger comment page. I used to either re-post or delete the comment, but now that I have found out about nofollow I don't need to bother.

As I was saying in my earlier post, the addition of this attribute to the link will tell Googlebot, Google's search engine robot, to ignore any authority that it may have had. In fact, there is no reason that the Google algorithm that determines the "value" of hyperlinks can process such links in ever more "special" ways depending on whether the nofollow is present.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The second Acer AO722 repair

The turn-around was pretty much as before. I dropped the unit off at FedEx on Thursday, it was repaired on Friday and I received the computer back on Tuesday.

This time Acer replaced the LCD screen and the keyboard. I did not expect the keyboard to be replaced as it was my fault that the Pg Dn key had broken due to careless cleaning. I was not aware that this was covered under the Limited warranty - I assumed that damage due to user negligence was not covered.

I don't think that Acer have made any profit out of this purchase. I am fast approaching the cost of a Mac Book Air with the shipping costs back to Acer. Still I have a long way to go to get to the $900+ price that an Apple would cost. It would hopefully last for more than 1 year - when the Acer warranty runs out. At this rate I can return it to Acer about another 19 times - $30 per shot (20*$30 = $600 --- the difference in price approximately)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Google Analysis and WordPress

If you search for this topic you will find that the official Wordpress websites (.org and .com) will tell you that you cannot use Google Analytics with WP.

I interpret this as to a statement that they have not found a way to put a "hook" to GA in the WP user interface. The way that GA works is that is not just a simple one step process and involves the placement of tracking code in your webpages and the registration of your website with Google Analytics.

The registration will tell you what code to place on your pages and where to put it. The code will contain an identifier for your site and JavaScript code that will send off the data collected from visitors to your site so that it can be included in your GA reporting.

Google Blogger now have this feature integrated into their user interface but I guess they have an advantage as they are introducing a Google product for use with another Google product. However, I was using GA before this was featured and it was just a matter of finding where to put the tracking code and then to do exactly the same that I was doing with my website. In fact, I think the tracking is done on this blog is still done in the same way. i.e. modifying the template and not entering the tracking ID in the UI.

As far as I can see this should still be possible with WP. The explanation of how to get it to function is another matter.

There are blog posts and You Tubes that say that you can do this - it is left to you to see if they work. There are also plugins that allow you to use Google Analytics - however, looking at the website below, Wordpress plugins, I am confused at the moment as it is not the experience that I am currently seeing using GA.

Links:
Although the WordPress Plugin website says that the plugin is only compatible to an earlier version this does not mean that it will not work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The NOFOLLOW tag and blogging

In my investigations on the differences between the WordPress platform and Google Blogger I was initially disappointed that a NOFOLLOW attribute was not offered when a link was added to a blog post.

It had been my suspicion that the attribute had been added automatically to hyperlinks that visitors had added to comments on Blogger. I had not checked this but I have on posts that I had made on WordPress. I now find that this is common practice in the case of blogging software. In fact the practice is rife with the large sites and it has been a source of criticism by the "community". I can see the naysayers point of view as this is not well understood by the small website owner or the blogger.

I think that is a case of "Do as you would want to be done by". In that if you link to a website you should be treated in the same way as if they link to you. By adding the NOFOLLOW attribute large sites were getting inbound links from the unwary were they were not giving the same in return. I have adopted the stance that I will not give a site that I link to unless I have a link back to me. As I have no way of determining this I place a NOFOLLOW attribute on ALL my hyperlinks.

When I was placing links on my website I either put them in an area where the search engines were banned or I just placed a link to a "links" page that stated that I had the links and if you wanted them you would have to write and ask for them. Thanks to Google Blogger I discovered NOFOLLOW.

Hard-coding the HTML it is a fairly easy task to add this attribute, as it is will Blogger. WordPress is somewhat more difficult but not impossible. The reasons for Google adding this to the Blogger platform is somewhat different as it was a made a requirement that if you had Adsense on your blog you would be penalized unless you used the attribute. I guess this was so that you didn't have 2 outbound links to the same website on your blog, one that they benefited from and the other you do - the net effect was that the one you had cancelled out the one that they placed in the Adsense ad.

A Google Adsense ad is a "Paid" link.

To add the NOFOLLOW attribute to a WordPress post or page you need to install a plugin and use "shortcode". While this is a little cumbersome, I am sure that it is worth it in the fact that ranking is not degraded as a consequence. In fact, I learn't about [shortcodes] and WP.

The syntax that you have to use in WP is better off documented here as the Nofollow plugin by bitacre will expand the shortcode to the required hyperlink syntax.

[nofollow href="http://url_of_site.com"] Site wanted to be not followed [/nofollow]

The text in red needs to be replaced by the site you want to link but not give ranking credit. In WP you can see the {shortcode] when the post is edited and it appears as a normal link in the post.

I checked this by looking at the source code of the webpage when I had the plugin active and when I did not. I also checked that hyperlinks placed in comments have the NOFOLLOW set by default.

There are many versions of this plugin - I only tried the one from bitacre. The Bitacre website is also an example of a website built using WordPress. They do have an error on the post relating to Nofollow.

I have an examples of this on my WordPress blog and I will continue to use this technique for all outbound links.

Links:
How does nofollow work with the Social Graph API (rel="nofollow me")?

Google also add some "get out of jail free" advice. This is to allow their social networking scheme to work. If you want to a person to link to you in your profile and want to link to them, they have added an extra "me" microformat to the nofollow attribute.

With rel="me nofollow", Google will continue to treat the rel="nofollow" as expected for search purposes, such as not transferring PageRank. However, for the Social Graph API, we will count the rel="me" link even when included with a nofollow.

To me this is an admission that they are really concerned about the ranking behavoiur of the Googlebot algorithm.

The added proviso that if you can verify ownership of the link than you can remove the nofollow. I am left wondering whether the users of Google Social Apps are even aware of the nofollow.

If you are able to verify ownership of a link using an identity technology such as OpenID or OAuth, however, you may choose to remove the nofollow link.

You can read exactly what Google say about this in the link above.

Google Sitemaps

I need to create another sitemap. It seems that I was editing it on the server directly.

As I am reconfiguring the site I can start a new one from scratch. In any case I am not sure of the value of having one in the first place.

I have added a robots.txt file and I need to add my IP address to Google Analytics to stop the logging of my own visits. It seems that I do not have the option of doing this for AWStats - I will have to look into this.

This is just a "to do" posting.

Links:
  • My original post on Google Sitemaps.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Salesforce.com

It appears that if you submit listings to salesforce.com you can earn points and kudos.

It also appears that the listing information does not have to be accurate! Within 24 hours of tempusfugit.ca being resurrected a listing was found (due to looking in an AWStats report) for me at an address that is incorrect.


Looking to see who posted the listing it appears that the individual was involved in a thread on the salesforce.com forum where the discussion about the number of points that are earned for a given number of listings.

My previous postings on Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) seem to have my suspicions on their value as a viable business tool confirmed.

The Jigsaw kudos model

Links:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Should I switch over to Wordpress?

As tempusfugit.ca has been dormant for a while I was thinking about re-instating it using Wordpress, adding new and unique content and even monetizing it. I am likely to have some editorial input on it if I do which should help with content generation. The skills that I have gained from creating and hosting on my own should see me in a good position to make a website that could generate revenue.

Update:

I do have a few observations on my intial usage of Wordpress.

However, it seems that the capabilities of Google Blogger are probably good enough when it comes to a simple blog. The main advantages that WordPress would offer are in the maintenance of a "proper" website. For example, there is much more flexibility when it comes to the generation of menu systems, in fact, you can make nested or cascading menus. Examples of this can be see on tempusfugit.ca

I have tried to use Blooger and WordPress on an iPad. They both have the same problem, the inability to upoad photographs to blog posts. The editing of exisiting posts works just fine, especially with a Bluetooth keyboard (like I am editing this post with).

The other main difference with respect to outbound links is that I cannot see an option to a add a NO-FOLLOW attribute to hyperlinks in blog posts. I am not sure if this will have a negative imact on ranking.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Regional Filtering

I am of the opinion that there is some measure of filtering with respect to where an Internet user is making a search.

For example, if I make the search: "windows 8 daz activation" one of the searches that finds my blog (this blog), I cannot find a link to me in the SERP that is returned here in Canada.

The results extracted from Google Analytics are from:
  • Czech Republic
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Belgium
These results are obviously skewed from the North American perspective. How else would Internet visitors find me and Canada and and the USA be excluded from these results?

It is also my belief that Google Analytics is far less useful than they were since changes were made to the way that Keywords are now reported. I described the reasons for this in my post:

Microsoft O.A. 3.0

OEM Activation 3.0 - Windows 8

It seems that the activation for Windows 8 is going to be different. The SLIC table modifications are not going to work.



Links:
A quote from the Register article:

The vendors will also now obtain their product keys directly from Microsoft via electronic delivery, and each new PC will come with a "Genuine Microsoft" sticker affixed, rather than the earlier Windows Certificate of Authenticity.

Factories will also be required to file production reports to Microsoft detailing their license compliance.

For now, OA 3.0 will only apply to new PCs running the Windows 8 client OS. Other versions, including Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded, will not use the new method – at least initially – and Windows 7 and earlier will continue to use the older OEM Activation method.

Using Tor with get_iplayer

As get_iplayer downloads the BBC programming using Tor to connect to the BBC servers will alleviate the buffering problems that streaming the content directly from the iPlayer site would have if you attempted to use Tor.

The trick here is to configure get_iplayer to use a proxy that you have configured using Vidalia Tor.

I cover this topic in greater detail on my website tempusfugit.ca

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Taking advantage of the WIndows 8 RTM announcement

Most of the SERP listings when you search for Windows 8 Loader are You Tube videos and file download services.

This is not really a good sign and an indication to me that there are those out there that are trying to take advantage of the Windows 8 RTM (Release To Manufacturing)


If you look at the search result above you will see that the majority of entries are from those that claim to have a download for a Windows 8 Loader. If you read the mydigitallife posting you will see that even the "experts" don't think a loader solution is going to work.

The listings for downloads are your typical "bait and switch" offerings that you see common on file-sharing sites. Promises of the "goods" that will often be "password protected" for you to find that once you have visited the website that you are told to obtain the password you will have to sign-up to a service to get the files. Or worse, your computer will get infected!



Install windows 8 without product key:

This was a search that was logged from Wheaton, Illinois

Links:

Daz Loader for Windows 8

So it looks like the regular retail versions of Windows 8 install are not going to have the option to install without a product key up front.
The big change in Windows 8 installation over Windows 7 and Vista

Those that are looking for a Loader or RemoveWAT for Windows 8 may be out of luck. The evaluation copies of Windows that Microsoft allowed you to download will expire once Windows 8 Pro is on general sale - after 26 October 2012. This blog post does not refer to those evaluation copies of Windows 8.

What Ed Bott says about the Product Key and Windows 8

The way that the Windows 7 (and versions prior to this including Vista) loaders worked was that a program that updated the SLIC table on the computers BIOS was run and inserted a Product Key (or Serial) from an OEM version of Windows. With Windows 8 the activation will be automatic on the install and therefore you will not have an "evaluation" version of Windows to run the "loader" against.

Will this mean that those that have been using bootleg versions of Windows 7 are now going to have to pay for Windows 8? Or maybe they will all stick with Windows 7 for as long as they can.

Other pages related to Windows 8 and activation:
 The activation process for Windows 8 has been completely redesigned from the way that Windows 7 and Vista were handled. OA 3.0 is the new method that is being proposed.

The roll-out of Windows RT, the tablet version of Windows 8 that runs on an ARM powered device has prompted discussion about this new activation scheme. By the time that the x86, Windows 8 Pro, comes on line MS will have probably worked out more of the details. At the present time there is probably little that the consumer be worried about as they are not going to able to run Windows 8 RT on their hardware as Windows 8 Pro is not going to be available until the end of the year (2012). The release of Windows 8 RTM was announced approximately 15 August 2012.

It is doubtful that the Windows 8 Loaders that you see for download will work with the beta versions of Windows 8 Pro that have also, presumably, been made available for download. These bootleg versions of Windows 8 are likely to be as bogus as the Windows8 Loaders. Be very careful in what you download!

Why tempsfugit.ca is currently dormant

UPDATE: September 2012 - the site is now back.


I currently do not have a need for a "proper" website. I seem to be able to achieve all that I want using a Google Blogger blog.

If I choose to resurrect my website I will host it on a 3rd party host. I originally did this but latterly I hosted www.tempusfugit.ca on my cable Internet connection. This worked out fine and was free but it proved to be a security risk for me. A risk that I decided that I did not need as it exposed my IP address to the world.

I may well re-post pages to tempusfugit.ca sometime in the future. I found that it was more readily indexed than Blogger pages in some respects. In other respects Blogger was quicker to respond to Googlebot, this is probably due to the fact that Blogger is a Google application.

Also, recent changes to the way that Google Analytics operates have led me to the opinion that it is far less useful than it was in determining what Internet users are interested in - the reason for tempusfugit in the first place. These changes have resulted in the search Keywords being suppressed from those searches made by users logged into a Google application such a Gmail or G+. The reasons for Google doing this are explained on another post on this blog.

In addition, if I host my website on another service I will have access to more resources that I had when I "self-hosted". These would include AWStats, for log analysis and MySQL and PHP.

Welcome

.... to the Technology Muse Blog and tempusfugit.ca website

Sundial, Tower Bridge & London City Hall from Norman Foster
Quelques matières pour le jour

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Smidgeonsoft

The following search was seen originating from Merrimack, New Hampshire:

smidgeonsoft or pebrowse64 or pebrowsedbg64 or "russ osterlund" or "russell osterlund" or pebrowse

Links:

rtl60.bpl was not found

This was an old posting that I had on my website www.tempusfugit.ca.

The error "rtl60.bpl was not found", was seen when a program that was written using a Borland programming language was transferred to a new computer.

The error was seen due to a number of factors and was seen to be still occurring even if the file rtl60.bpl was located off the old computer that the program originally ran successfully. This was surmised to the such that there was also a difference in the way that dll's are linking in different versions of Windows. The location of Linked Libraries in different directory locations was see as a culprit. Paths to these libraries were hard coded into the executable files such that the linked file was still not found even if it was present on the new machine. It was just in the wrong place and would not be found unless the executable were to be re-complied. 

The error was not specific to any one program and could occur for many. The example that I found reported on the Internet was for a program written for a model train controller program.

More information on this can be found on my website - www.tempusfugit.ca

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Searching for you own name online

I don't know if this is an example of extreme paranoia or just one of vanity. The continual searching for what is being said about you on-line seems to be what many do.

I guess is it okay to do this from time to time, but to do so on a weekly basis for well over a year is a little obsessive.

Links:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

AO722 dies again!

I really don't seem to be having much luck with my Acer AO722, it has broken again!

This time the display "fritzed out", it started off with a flashing display (accompanied by a whistling in the audio - first detected by Skype), then the computer would not switch off completely (there was a glow from the display even though it had been switched off - this went away if the battery was removed) and now I get no display at all apart from a very faint display some of the time after the computer boots.

I know that the computer boots as it starts up and connects to the WiFi (the light comes on) and I can shut it down by using the keyboard in a blind fashion. i.e. Ctr-Alt-Del then Tab Tab Tab and Enter - the control menu is invoked and then I tab to the shut-down button (I found this out on my AO522).

I guess the Acer is going back for repair as it is still well within warranty. I can't say that I am that impressed with its reliability. It may have known that I was playing with a Mac Book Air earlier in the day. I must admit that if this is the reliability that I can expect from it I may be better off with the Apple. Funny that I don't seem to have as many problems with my AO522 computers.

Links:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Forums that discuss P2P issues

.... are generally full of crap.

You can believe what I say on this blog or you can continue to search for an answer that you want to hear.

Every now and then I repeat the searches that find this blog (from analysis of Google Analytics). I often come across these forums and most of what I see is miss-information or just plain wrong.

I will not repeat what my findings on the efforts to obscure your identity on this post, you can easily search for those yourself. Suffice it to say that I lot of what you will find in both out-of-date and incorrect. I encourage you to check the dates of the original posts and the comments made on them.

You will not find such comments on this blog as I do not post ambiguous questions that allow those with agendas to post their own solutions. The owners of these forums and authors of software such as PeerBlock are not likely to comment as they probably agree with what I am saying here. It is not in their interest to do so as it would curtail the traffic to their sites and their claims to fame.

I don't care if you find this blog or follow my advice, I have no such agenda. It just amuses me that there is so much nonsense out there!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Powerline Netorking has problems

Whilst powerline networking is a great idea, the reason that it is flawed and not reliable for streaming video over a home networking is nothing to do with noise. The reason is that the current protocol under Windows 7 does not work consistently.

When you configure a powerline network you will find that it will work just fine for a while but will exhibit problems in recognizing the shared resources when you want to use it. This "connectivity" can sometimes be restored by running the Windows 7 Homegroup troubleshooter, but not always.

When the connections are made, in a relatively noise-free environment, the streaming speeds are adequate for HD video distribution. As such it is very easy to demonstrate that this is a viable solution and the use of lightning-surge protector filters actually helps to make this possible. However, this is NOT what the issue is with Home Group Networking and Power Line Networking.

Hardware vs. Protocol:

I have both Netgear and Western Digital powerline adapters. Both these exhibit the same behaviour with respect to the inconsistencies of making Home Group Shares. It is my opinion that the reason that the shares do not appear without having to run the troubleshooter is that there is a fundamental flaw in the HomeGroup protocol and specification with respect to the hardware that is currently available.

This may be fixed with newer releases of Windows (and other operating systems) and the revision of the networking specifications and protocol. However, at the present time IT DOES NOT WORK!

Links:

Claims of Unlimited Download Speeds

I never cease to be amused when I see ads for BTGuard claiming that you will get unlimited download speeds if you use their services.



It is not the VPN or IP obscuring software that limits the download speed of a torrent download it is the health of the torrent that is the dominant factor when it comes to the rate at which you are accessing the files.

In addition services such as BTGuard and TorrentPrivacy are likely to be well on the radar screens of Anti P2P Organizations and the servers that you may have to connect through are most likely to be blocked. This blocking is likely to add to the latency of your downloads.

I have discussed the merits of using BTGuard and Torrent Privacy on this blog and my website (tempusfugit.ca). I have used one of the services in the past. I have found a much better solution.

BTGuard and TorrentPrivacy are aggressively advertized on sites such as Isohunt and The Pirate Bay. This is because it is there they find a target audience. As such, this is an indication of what not to use to download. You are far better off choosing a service that is off the radar and not advertized on a network that the copyright holders know are promoting the stealing of their property.

What VPN service should you use for P2P

Following a a visit from Pleasanton, California searching for "p2p vpn" I am making this post.

When it comes to the choice of a VPN service to use for downloading from a file sharing (P2P) source you are far better off choosing one that is not advertised on one of the major torrent locator sites such as Isohunt or The Pirate Bay. Companies that advertise there are more likely to have their servers blocked by AP2P Organizations and are likely to be too slow.

Update 28 Aug 2012:

Looking at at the Hide-My-Ass website I cannot see any reference to using their services for P2P or downloading from File Sharing services using BitTorrent.

Hide-My-Ass are a popularly advertised service that can be used to provide anonymity while you are using the Internet. As such they fit the criteria for their rejection for use for this purpose. However, I cannot believe that there are not users of the service that are not using HMA  for downloading copyright material. I would add the caution that seeing as they make no mention of this being a prohibited activity on their website and Terms of Service, it may be something that you only find out after you sign-up. This is the case with BTGuard.

Links:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why Peerblock is mis-named

Peerblock and Peer Guardian 2 should be called APOBlock.

All these programs do is to block Anti Peer to Peer Organizations from accessing your computer. They do nothing to obscure your download activity.

You cannot block your ISP with Peerblock. If you do, you will have no Internet access. To prevent your ISP knowing what you download you need to use some other method.

In my opinion PeerBlock and.or PG2 are useless and only add an unnecessary layer to your connection to the Internet.

Please search this blog for "peerblock" for all my posts related to the operation of this blocking software and a discussion on AP2P and circumvention.