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Google is 14 Years Old and Under Arrest

Well I guess ’14′ is not a very important number, since Google’s own birthday doodle is an animated GIF:

Google's 14th Birthday Doodle Gif
Does that really say PooP?

.. unless you count this ’14′ year old girl with ’14′ million views?

[iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lXbC1p8jaKU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

That’s evil Google, even if you didn’t actually make that the top search result for ’14 years old’, it’s very evil. ;)

Stop! Jail Time!

Speaking of unintentional evils, Google’s chief executive in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, was arrested and then released after a Brazilian court found him guilty of violating South American pre-vote election laws.

Fabio’s crime? He denied a request to have politically sensitive videos removed from YouTube.

The same judge also ordered a .5 million dollar per day ‘penalty’ for Google to pay if it continues to host the videos!

Since the videos are not in English and most of the news sources are English, finding these ‘horrible’ videos isn’t very easy.

Here’s one explaining a connection between the candidate for Mayor, Alcides Bernal, and a money laundry scheme with a co-operative taxi service.

[iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OUPRVnnBeds?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

My Portuguese is pretty non-existent, but even without Google TranslateOpen in a New Tab, it’s pretty clear that the candidate for Mayor isn’t being promoted favorably in this video.

Google is facing similar political pressures over the recent anti-Muslim videos, including fines, however they are all currently being left online by YouTube/Google as it’s very clear that no rules of the service have been violated and removing the videos would merely make people want to share them even more.

Bearded Sikh Woman Teaches Reddit A Lesson

In fact these political types could learn a great lesson from a young Sikh woman who recently was ridiculed for not tending to her facial hair/beard over on Reddit’s r/funny boards : source

Ugly remarks like: “Transgender Sikh Dwarf” didn’t phase Balpreet!

Rather than get upset, Balpreet Kaur, took the attention as an opportunity to register with Reddit as a new user and explain herself in a calm respectful manner.

This resulted in a huge cultural awareness among the thread readers, and she is currently being hailed as an outstanding example of how to handle criticism.

Here’s the full storyOpen in a New Tab (with twitter reactions) over on CBC News.

You go girl! :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:36 pm on September 27, 2012


 

Microsoft Data Center Wasting Energy to Avoid Fines

As a follow up to my previous post on Internet pollution which discussed the amount of electrical consumption and wasteful energy practices by data centers; a post from the NY Times today really summed up the national mentality towards the consumption of energy and the wastefulness of the industry.

Microsoft Data Center

The Microsoft Redmond Quincy data center, which is the home of Bing and Hotmail and other cloud based servers, had a contract with a Washington state utility which contained clauses that imposed severe penalties for the under-consumption of electricity.

Microsoft was fined $210 000 for not meeting its “power-use target”. In an effort to avoid such a sizable penalty this year, Microsoft deliberately consumed millions of watts of power within three days in a “commercially unproductive manner” to avoid the fine being levied against them. The Washington utility board capitulated and reduced the amount to $60k. While the Redmond center claims that it is moving to a carbon neutral footprint, this squandering of energy shows that both groups care little for the environment and are more concerned with the almighty dollar.

With industry becoming ever increasingly more environmentally conscious, such blatant wastefulness cannot go unchecked. It seems that both the power company and the consumer are at fault in this situation. You cannot blame Microsoft for trying to save money; yet why is the power company charging such outrageous amounts for “under-consumption” in the first place? This model forces unneeded energy consumption for the sole purpose of avoiding a fine. This entire model is flawed as it has no regard for the environmental impact for this amount of wastefulness.

With alternate energy technologies becoming commonplace and affordable, we can only guess as to why data centers continue to waste such copious amounts of energy with such blatant disregard to the environment. Certainly the same laws that apply to more traditional dirty industries needs to be applied here as well.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:48 am on September 26, 2012


 

The Schmidt has hit the fan…

Eric Schmidt from Google

Last night in Japan, Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, spoke openly about Google Maps and Apple products without holding much back.

It all started with a simple question of if Google was working on a ‘Maps’ application for the iPhone5 (or iOS 6).

Schmidt’s response was very frank and left no wiggle room for the press:

“We have not done anything yet.”

If that wasn’t open enough the questions pushed on about Google’s involvement with the choice to remove the “Maps” app and switch to Apple’s own rudimentary ‘Navigation’ app.

Eric continued to oblige with another great reply:

“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?”

“What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”

It could just be me, but when the executive chairman employed by one of the most successful and important companies on the planet tosses out a phrase like ‘But what do I know?’, there’s very little modesty and a lot of sarcasm involved.

Further questions seemed to annoy Eric and he did make it clear that the two companies have an open dialog, stating that they ‘talk daily’, in one form or the other.

After a bit more ‘Apple’ questions, Mr.Schmidt gave what could be considered an annoyed remark:

“Apple is the exception, and the Android system is the common model, which is why our market share is so much higher…”

He went on to indicate his feelings that Android’s success was often ignored by the media, which he claims is often:

“obsessed with Apple’s marketing events and Apple’s branding.”

Android Logo eating the Apple Logo

Indeed with over 500 million users of the Android OS (including more than just phones), the numbers are on Google’s side.

To get things back on track, after-all Mr.Schmidt was in Japan to show off the latest Nexus tablet, Eric finished the press conference with a quick demonstration of a Nexus tablet controlling Google Maps via movements of the tablet.

This allows the user to ‘look around’ the map in a more natural way that is lots of fun and very intuitive.

As a final jab Eric tossed out:

Take that Apple,” .. adding quickly, “That was a joke by the way.

But the Joke is on Apple; As they deal with the throngs of die-hard fans who paid way too much for easy to scratch (or pre-scratched) phones, that leak light, and can’t run the best mapping apps.

Good times! ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:14 am on September 25, 2012


 

Internet Pollution – The Dirty Secret of the Information Age

The New York Times hired the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company to conduct an extensive year-longdata center energy audit to document power consumption and usage patterns amongst data centers in the United States.

datacenter

With tens of thousands of data centers, and no regulations in place to curb energy consumption, the information age is at odds with the established image of efficiency and environmental friendly that seems to be associated with it. On average, most data centers use approximately 6-12% of electricity to power their servers to perform routine computations. The rest of the power is spent to keep servers idling and at the ready in case of a power surge or brown-out that could slow or crash the servers.

"Worldwide, the digital warehouses use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants. A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town."

data center spending

Most data centers run theirs servers 24/7 at maximum capacity, regardless of demand and as a result end up wasting approximately 90% of the electricity that is pulled right of the electrical grid. To make matters worse, most rely upon banks of generators that emit copious amounts of diesel fumes.

The pollution emitted from data centers, are being cited by authorities as violating several clean air regulations. Many of the data centers in Silicon Valley, CA appear on the government’s Toxic Air Contaminant Inventory roster.

The inefficiency stems from the symbiotic relationship between users and the servers. Users want instantaneous access to all data, and the companies that are at risk if they fail to meet the demand.

"It’s staggering for most people, even people in the industry, to understand the numbers, the sheer size of these systems," said Peter Gross, who helped design hundreds of data centers. "A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town."

Many companies such as Google and Facebook are looking for ways to reduce power consumptions and are looking at things like reengineered software and more efficient cooling systems in an effort to decrease wasted power.

"This is an industry dirty secret, and no one wants to be the first to say mea culpa," said a senior industry executive who asked not to be identified to protect his company’s reputation. "If we were a manufacturing industry, we’d be out of business straightaway."

US Data Center Energy Usage

Google’s data centers currently consume approximately 300 million watts and Facebook’s, about 60 million watts. Many solutions are available to help combat this out-of-control power consumption, but in an industry that cannot afford any downtime, many companies are hesitant to implement any large scale changes.

The problem is two-fold. As users, we need to be less dependent on the data we expect to have at our finger tips at every second of every day and data centers and the computer manufacturing industry need stricter regulations and must be made to adhere to more stringent environmental standards.

Computers servers must be made more energy efficient and adhere to compulsory power consumption standards. As we see many businesses and industry moving to greener technologies, one has to speculate why the IT industry has not followed suit?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:32 pm on September 24, 2012

Categories:Green Tech,IT Industry

 

Dublin the Airports: iOS 6 Maps is Rotten


Apple’s extra Airport..

Was anyone expecting Apple to replace Google’s Maps application with something superior? Apparently, the iPhone user base and Apple actually expected this to happen.

If you look at the most extremely biased sites reviewing the new ‘Apple’ Maps app for iOS 6 you will see guarded optimism and lots of ‘reasoning’ clash with angry rants from amazed and disappointed users.

One thing I don’t see is anyone calling it the ‘Maps app that Apple bought from TomTom’ the best I’ve seen is a mention that they relied heavily on TomTom and OpenStreetMap for data alone.

Instead I see a very consistent collection of sympathetic remarks like: ‘this is beta, it can only get better’, ‘for a first attempt this is outstanding’, ‘people will question anyone who takes their own path..’

But Apple isn’t taking their own path, they are merely attempting (badly) to replace something that wasn’t really broken.

Sure, Google wasn’t toiling endlessly to include all the updates it was adding to the Android version of Google Maps.

I’m guessing Apple really expected Google to beta test ideas on the Android and then polish them up and finalize them on the iPhone?

So sure, Google put Android development first, and there were things that Google Maps did better on the Android, but that still doesn’t mean it ‘had to go’.

Apple could have offered both solutions in a ‘use what you like’ approach to pleasing it’s user base, but this is a company making headlines for outrageous profits and the working conditions of it’s manufacturing partners.

Removing the choice to pick another company’s solution would clearly explain why Apple didn’t take a settlement from Samsung and wanted to ban their phones. Apple want’s profits, and if Apple wants really happy customers they could lower prices and focus on better apps vs. removing the best ones for inferior versions.

And in other News

Google has blessed a new meta tag!
meta name=”news_keywords”

content=”Apple Maps, iOS 6, Google Maps, Android, TomTom, Google news meta tag”

Do you publish content that you would call ‘news’?
Would you like Google to better understand the topic of your posts?
Would you like the freedom to ignore keyword use in a topic for style reasons?

Then brothers and sisters, this new meta-tag is what you’ve been waiting for!

The format is very simple, and it belongs near the top of your page content, usually in the <head> … </head> section.

Here’s an example:

<meta name=”news_keywords” content=”10 keywords, separated, by commas, just like, meta keywords, etc..”>

That’s some ‘easy breezy’ SEO optimization, and it’s great if you are indeed publishing ‘news’; Not just ranting about Apple. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:51 am on September 20, 2012


 

Google Forbids Online Anonymity…While Patenting It

Recently Google stated the importance of using your real (common) name so that people you want to connect with can find you. Google goes on to say that using a secondary online identity or pseudonym on its Google+ service can result in your profile in being suspended if it does not adhere to the Google Names Policy.

dafuq?

At the same time, Google has been awarded a new patent called Social Computing Personas for Protecting Identity in Online Social Interactions.

In the patent application, Google explains to the USPTO (US Patent Office) that when a user reveals their identity on the internet that it, that “it leaves them more vulnerable to stalking, identity theft and harassment.” Google’s patented solution is to provide online anonymity to social networking users using an alter ego, or anonymous identity.

pop art girl image

One can only speculate why one hand of Google is warning about the folly and penalties for not following their Names Policy, while the other hand of Google says that users are at risk if they do not protect their identity with an anonymous identity.

Has Google change its official stance regarding online anonymity? Is this a case where one hand of Google doesn’t know what the other is doing? Or is Google just avoiding putting all its eggs into one basket? And what about Mary-Lou?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:03 pm on September 19, 2012


 

Google-a-gram? Insta-oogle? Google-Shop?

Do you like pictures? Pretty pictures?

Google just purchased an online graphics startup called ‘Snapseed‘, adding the outstanding features of it’s tools to Google’s already growing list of image editing options.
A photo of Blueberries with the Google logo hidden in the middle
While we like to get people’s attention, this news does not require Snapseed to suddenly be elevated to the status of ‘Instagram rival‘ just for the sake of writing an article.

In fact Snapseed was popular with photographers, not just ‘people taking pictures of their cats’; Something which already declassifies it from comparison to Instagram; Above and beyond the fact that photographers actually paid for Snapseed’s services.

In fact I don’t even need to pretend that:

Google and Facebook Inc are locked in a battle for social network followers

..to bolster this article either, but thanks for your attempt at ‘journalism’ Reuters.

The truth is that G+ isn’t for the MySpace holdouts, nor has it been designed to force people off of FB.

Heck I’m sure there’s users of both systems who will never make the switch and I’m just as sure that the developers working on G+ are fine with that.

You heard it here folks:

  • Google+ is not Facebook.
  • Does Facebook allow me to video chat with my GMail contacts?
  • Can anyone guarantee efforts on Facebook will always be favored by Google?
  • Do FB business pages give me the same professional exposure that a company page on G+ would provide?
  • Would it be worth it to setup rel=author links for employees FB profiles when G+ is far more business worthy?
  • Etc.. etc..

People keep saying things like, “Google is playing catch up in social…“, which is true if you completely ignore the innovations and ways that they are leading social tech.

Google already has some great graphics options like SketchUp:

[iframe alt="Google SketchUp Model of heavy equipment" src="http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/mini?mid=c56ccf59ab91137f10791b853e07f3d7&etyp=sw&width=550&height=413" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" width="550" height="413"]

.. and SVG Edit which is great for HTML5 authoring:

(This is a 3kb SVG script)SVG Edit Logo in SVG Format

.. and Picasa for photos:

Picasa logo

Oreo the Cat - Politely explaining his deepening interest in eating some of his owner's food.
(Which in version 3.9 has a lot of image filters already!)

Heck, speaking of Picasa and Google+, with Picasa installed locally I can organize/edit photos on my desktop and have that organization flow seamlessly to email contacts/friends/public.

With multiple PCs at my disposal, having my efforts tied to a single online sharing point is ‘huge’ to say the least.

In fact, some tools, like SVG Edit, are directly available online, making it a very accessible tool for quick web design work on-the-fly.

If Nik Software’s Snapseed adds even more options to the process then I’m super happy to be a G+ user.

Thanks for all the free love Google!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm on September 18, 2012


 

“the Innocence of Muslims” vs Free Speech

A recent movie published on YouTube, called "the Innocence of Muslims" has sparked outrage and public outcry in several areas of the Middle East and was responsible for the attacking of American embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, the killing of four officials and ongoing anti-US protests in Egypt and Libya.

Because the video does not violate YouTube policies, Google has rejected the notion of removing the video that mocks Islam and depicts the prophet Mohammed as a fraud and philanderer. They have however, decided to temporarily restrict access in these countries.

Similar to the controversy surrounding the Danish political cartoon that depicted the prophet Mohammed in 1995, and the violence that resulted, it should be well established that the Muslim’s regard any depiction of Mohammed blasphemy.

Google said in a statement last Wednesday, "However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries."

This video – which is widely available on the Web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube, Google said in a statement. "However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries."

In a new age where social media can have a direct impact on world events, many similar social companies are facing the same struggle between balancing free speech with legal or ethical concerns.

Given Google’s past track record of protecting free speech, some digital free expression groups have criticized YouTube for censoring the video. Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated, "It is extremely unusual for YouTube to block a video in any country without it being a violation of their terms of service or in response to a valid legal complaint."

Much like net debates over net neutrality, censorship, privacy and piracy, this is the latest in an ongoing series of growing pains that the adolescent Internet community must pass through.

With an ever increasingly intermingled global community we must face and pass through these tribulations before a truly equitable solution can be found that will strike a balance between free speech and showing respect for other political or belief systems.

On a more personal note: I have included the video since removed for public consumption. Not because I like or agree with it (at all), but to show others of the garbage that was created that sparked the controversy. Personally, I couldn’t make it past 2 minutes as it was just too painful to watch.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:34 pm on September 17, 2012

Categories:Internet Law

 

Mmmmmm Bacon..

Did that get your attention? Some crispy fresh smoky bacon?

It’s a pity then that the story isn’t about hot pork but instead about degrees of bacon.

Degrees of Kevin Bacon to be exact.

Google has given us yet another nerdy Easter Egg, not unlike the StarCraft inspired ZergRush or StarFox inspired BarrelRoll, Easter Eggs. (Shame on PCWorld for their typo this morning!).

If you add ‘bacon number’ to an actor’s name in a Google Search, Google will tell you the degrees of separation between the actor and Kevin Bacon.

Heck it even works with actresses!

Try a Google search for: “Oliva Wilde bacon number

..you should get a Bacon Number of “2″!

This is because Oliva worked with Ryan Reynolds in ‘The Change-Up’..

Ryan Reynolds is working with Kevin Bacon on the action/comedy film ‘R.I.P.D.’ that’s coming out in early 2013.

Thus Oliva Wild’s ‘degree of separation’ with Kevin Bacon would be a 2.

All Oliva needs to do now is add her Bacon number to her profile page like so:

 
Since you’d need to be pretty famous to have a Bacon Number I expect that it will be *the* thing to have, if you’re a movie star.

Fat Hacker – Cosmo the God & UGNazi

This is not my best segway(seguay?) between stories, but I was simply blown away by the tale of a chubby 15 year old hacker in California who is in jail for widespread hacking and mischief.

This inventive teen, with poor supervision, has managed to hack a wide cross-section of some of the worlds biggest companies including:

Amazon, Apple, AT&T, PayPal, AOL, Netflix, Network Solutions, and Microsoft

`Cosmo`, as he is called online, likes to point out that none of these hacks were particularly tricky, and is calling on companies to fix their easily exploitable systems, while he sits in a juvenile detention center after admitting to many of his `hacks`.

The story I read on Wired.com was so well written I’m not even going to try and do any excerpts, I’m just going to drop the link and insist you give it a read.

 
Nicely done Mat Honan, from a victim to a sympathizer, all in one interview. This is great investigative journalism, and we need more like it.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:01 pm on September 13, 2012


 

The New iPhones are here! (but do they have 4G?)

After much speculation, the new Apple release details of the new iPhone 5 today and stated that the new iPhone will begin shipping September 21st.iPhone5

Gizmodo compiled a great list of features, but here is a quick rundown of the new iPhone features:<

  • 18% Thinner and 20% Lighter: Coming in at 7.6 millimeters (0.29 inches) and weighing a scant 112 grams (3.95 ounces), the new form factor stands to be the world’s thinnest Smartphone.
  • Large Panoramic Screen:  Supports more resolutions and uses less power. Apple claims that the new 16:9 4-inch panoramic screen has 44 percent more saturation than the iPhone, which makes the display full RGB. The display features the touchscreen sensor built-in.
  • Upgraded CPU: Apple claims that their new A6 processor is 2x faster in CPU and graphics and will load web pages 2.1 times faster than the iPhone4S.
  • LTE: Long Term Evolution capabilities will make this versions connectivity much faster than its predecessor.
  • Battery: Huge improvements have been made here. The new iPhone features 8 hours talk-time on 3G, 8 hours LTE browsing, 10 hours Wi-Fi browsing, 30 hours video playback, 225 hours on standby.
  • earpods

  • Updated Camera: 5 elemental lens, 8 megapixel sensor (3264 x 2448 pixel), backside illumination, hybrid infrared filter and f/2.4 aperture. The updated camera also comes with a new panorama capture mode and improved video face detection (now at 1080p FullHD).
  • Improved Front FaceTime Camera

  • Upgraded Audio:  added 3 microphones (front, back & bottom), speakers now have 5 transducers from 3 for clearer, fuller sound, and improved ear buds – now cleverly dubbed “EarPods”.
  • Wideband Audio: This new iPhone 5 technology uses something called wideband audio, that if supported by the carrier, the phone will use more of the spectrum of available bandwidth to send much better, high-fidelity version of your voice over the network.
  • iPhone connector

  • New Dock Connector: Apple calls its new connector interface “Lightning.” It’s all digital and features 8 pin connectors. It is an adaptive interface that will send different signal types based upon your connection needs. The best part? It is REVERSABLE!
  • Comes in black or white models
  • Prices:All the new iPhone5s come with a standard 2 year contract with Apple.
    • 16GB: $199
    • 32GB: $299
    • 64GB: $399
    • iPhone 4S? now only $99

SEO news blog post by @ 3:05 pm on September 12, 2012


 

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