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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


April 9, 2014

Is the heart of your website beating or bleeding?


The Heartbleed Bug is a serious SSL/TLS encryption vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. So what is it?


Seems like we’ve heard this all before?



To put it into layman’s terms, Heartbleed or CVE-2014-0160, depending on your pedantic nature, is a really bad thing.

In less simple terms, the ‘heartbeat’ service of OpenSSL can be exploited to ‘leak’ it’s memory and reveal the contents of of otherwise protected/encrypted data.

But we’ve heard of OpenSSL exploits/vulnerabilities before, why is this one exciting?

Heartbleed vulnerability logo

Not only does Heartbleed have it’s own logo:

..it has it’s own website: http://heartbleed.com/


If you wanted to know all about it, the heartbleed.com website is full of information and details on the vulnerability if you want to dig right in for maximum info.


Essentially these are the points made:

  • This vulnerability has been around for years and so if someone had captured traffic from a year ago, and then got your secret keys with this exploit, this could allow them access to data you thought nobody could touch.

  • Using this exploit to impersonate your servers could allow an attacker even more access.

  • This is untraceable at the moment, meaning you don’t know what secure/protected content was stolen, or when.

  • This isn’t even all about you and your servers, think about the private data of your users and how a common password could be stolen from your server and used to infiltrate other more-secure servers around the internet.



Who is impacted :

  • Everyone that uses SSL is impacted in some way. Even if you just have to change some passwords. This will impact you.

  • OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f are vulnerable. OpenSSL 1.0.1g and newer are fine. Very old servers that didn’t upgrade to the heartbeat feature may be immune.

  • It’s estimated that this applies to over 66% of the web servers on the internet.

What to do :

  • Upgrade OpenSSL and/or disable the heartbeat function.

  • If you don’t disable the heartbeat function you can expect to be contacted by security teams checking to make sure you’ve upgraded.

  • Make sure your users know, either by a site bulletin, or perhaps a blog post?

  • Urge users to make password changes once you’ve secured your server.

  • Make it clear that users need to update that password on all sites that it was used on.

  • Be honest. No data can be assumed private at this point, your users should consider this truth.

  • Revoke and reissue your server’s primary keys.

  • As servers get patched you can reconnect with them, but there should be a ‘patch first, trust after’ policy.


..and above all else, Don’t Panic. :)

Update: If you are hosted on CentOS don’t assume you are vulnerable based on the version. In our case we had version 1.0.1e installed but it has been patched for CVE-2014-0160, which I can confirm with SSH access and looking at the RPM changelog.
 

SEO news blog post by @ 3:27 pm


 

 

March 19, 2014

Is your business wearable aware?

Has your SEO been mentioning Mobile/Tablet apps and designs a lot?

SEO Concerns for Mobile Websites – August 16th, 2013

Google Q3, Mobile Ads & Hummingbird – October 21, 2013

I For One, Welcome Our Google-Android Overlords! – May 3, 2011

Who needs a mobile website? – June 23, 2009

It seems like YEARS of nagging, so why haven’t you made the moves? Are you waiting for the mobile fad to die?

In 2012 Google dropped the bomb that Android installations had hit the 400 million mark with a pretty snazzy video:

Then in 2013 Google did another high-def video announcing they more than doubled the install base in just one year to 900 million installs:

While I haven’t seen a video for 2014 yet, I can only imagine that we are in the billions of installs now and here I am still trying to get business owners to see that even if this was a fad, it’s worth being part of, in a big way.

Need more ammo to dig into the mobile ‘fad’? How about Google going public with the Wear SDK for Android?

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the Offical Google Blog published:

Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches.

Google is not only ‘gearing up’ with the recently acquired Motorola Mobility division, but it’s also working with hardware partners like Samsung, LG, HTC, Asus, and major brands in the chipset manufacturing/fashion industry to make sure that top tier products will soon be available from multiple brands, with high tech and high fashion rolled into a desirable wearable.

The ‘Information that moves with you’ video, aimed at consumers, is a bit ‘goofy’ and the shrug at the end sums up how I feel about these demonstrations of fledgeling hardware innovations.

However the developer preview video is where I would like business owners to focus their attention:

This video is FAR more interesting in that what we want to do is get behind this tech before our competition, supporting not just early adopters, but also getting the recognition that comes from being first to market with a solution.

As an SEO, Beanstalk has to constantly monitor and appraise site health and rankings for a number of our client websites. Right now we’re just testing our automation and only publish monthly reports focused on key areas of interest, but that’s going to change as we push our abilities.

Worried about negative SEO tactics? Very soon we should be able to offer a unique level of protection for our clients with respect to instant alerts for a spike/drop in backlinks/no-follow flags on backlinks. If you suddenly lost 100s of backlinks overnight and there was a spike of backlinks becoming no-follow, wouldn’t you want that info immediately?

Want to watch for syndication of an article or keyphrase with some special criteria? We would be able to get that outreach info to you instantly on the Wearable SDK thanks to the scripts and tools we’ve purchased and developed for maintaining our client’s web rankings.

Obviously our client’s core SEO needs always come first and we’re in the midst of a server hardware rollout so I can’t say “check back next week” but I can say to expect more from us soon!

SEO news blog post by @ 2:08 pm


 

 

November 13, 2013

Placing WordPress Site In Root And Blog In Folder

So you want to host your full site in WordPress.  Great, it’s a fine system and we like it a lot over here at Beanstalk.  But often we hit the same scenario and I realized that nowhere on the web (that I could find) is it thoroughly documented so I decided to provide this non-Internet-Marketing-but-useful-for-marketers-and-website-owners tip on how to use WordPress to host your full site and at the same time place your blog in a separate folder (say … “blog”).

There are some decent tutorials out there on how to manage it if you don’t care if your blog posts reside in the folder “blog” but let’s take a scenario where you do, or where, like many, you’re moving your site from a different system into WordPress and have a pre-existing WordPress blog in the “blog” folder.  If you don’t ensure that your blog posts reside in the same locations as previously then you’re going to have to redirect them all (how will depend on your system of course).  Now, done right this doesn’t add a ton of code; in fact, you can simply redirect everything to root with one line in the htaccess file and make things function. But personally I find that a bit sloppy and (more importantly from my perspective) with each 301 you lose a tiny amount of PageRank.  Not huge, but measurable.  Redirect hundreds of blog pages with internal and external links and you’re losing weight you’d probably rather keep.

So, how do you host your WordPress pages in the root of your site while hosting the blog in a separate folder AND host all the blog pages within that folder as well?  Well here it is…

Before we begin I’m going to give a big hat tip to Joe Foley over at WPMU.org for covering the first half of the process on a page I’ve referenced more than once.  In fact, I’m going to use the same images he used as I couldn’t do any better, but he describes it well and has other great content so you can read his post on the subject at http://wpmu.org/create-separate-blog-section-wordpress/.  I’ll let you know when we move into the last step which is the one missing from every explanation I could find.

Step One: Create A Blog Homepage

The first step is to create a blog homepage.  You do this in the Pages section.  I’m with Joe, I just name it “Blog” or something related to the specific industry like “Blue Widget Blog”.

Create a page.

In the path for the Page you will enter the location you want to be the root of the section (for example, www.yourdomain.com/blog/).

Step Two: Set The Location For Your Posts

In the Reading section under your Settings you’ll want to select a static page.  As the image below illustrates you will select your homepage as the homepage of the site (displayed at the root) and the newly created page as the homepage for your posts.

Select a static page for the site.

Step Three: Create The Menu Link

Joe included this so I’ll mention it.  Essentially, make sure you’re creating a link to this section.  In the image below this is done through WordPress.  I personally tend to hard code such things into the includes but that I’ll leave up to you.

Add a link.

Step Four: Change The Posts Path

This is the step that is generally missing from descriptions.  Your blog pages would appear as:

Blog Home – www.yourdomain.com/blog/
Post – www.yourdomain.com/2013/11/13/post-name/
(note: I’ve added the year/date/month to the post URL as an example but there are other ways to set it up)

Now, let’s say you want all your posts to appear in the blog folder of your site.  You simply need to go to the Permalinks section if you settings, switch to a custom URL and add “/blog/ before the parameters you’ve selected.

Changing WordPress Permalinks.

That’s it … now all your posts will reside in the blog folder and your site is at the root.

Obviously you can change the location from “blog” to anything you’d like.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:44 pm

Categories:Coding,web design

 

 

October 4, 2013

Adobe Hacked

A siege on Adobe.Adobe has been hacked with the credit card information of almost 3 million accounts compromised. This is a huge blow for the company and for the trust users have in them as well as a solemn reminder for all of us as the fragile nature of our data. We discuss often the privacy concerns around Facebook and Google but ti takes an event like this to remind us that the systems we take for granted every day, like eCommerce – mandatory now for the smooth functioning of our society – are vulnerable at even the highest level.

Admittedly, the belief currently is that the credit card data pulled was encrypted, anyone familiar with encryption knows that with enough time and computing power, it can be cracked.  You can simply ask the NSA for verification on that point and sophisticated hackers (say for example, like the ones that could break through Adobe’s security) will have access to the knowledge and resources to get it done.

I personally got my email notification from Adobe at 11:01PM yesterday, hours after the event occurred.  Now fortunately, I’ve paid for everything via PayPal (admittedly more to avoid currency conversion fees) so it’s not a sizable issue for Beanstalk but for many of my friends and clients this is a huge issue. On their blog they reported the following actions being taken:

As a precaution, we are resetting relevant customer passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID accounts. If your user ID and password were involved, you will receive an email notification from us with information on how to change your password. We also recommend that you change your passwords on any website where you may have used the same user ID and password.

We are in the process of notifying customers whose credit or debit card information we believe to be involved in the incident. If your information was involved, you will receive a notification letter from us with additional information on steps you can take to help protect yourself against potential misuse of personal information about you. Adobe is also offering customers, whose credit or debit card information was involved, the option of enrolling in a one-year complimentary credit monitoring membership where available.

We have notified the banks processing customer payments for Adobe, so that they can work with the payment card companies and card-issuing banks to help protect customers’ accounts.

We have contacted federal law enforcement and are assisting in their investigation.

I’ll give them kudos for doing what needs to be done and can’t even blame them for it happening.  For those affected, make the appropriate arrangements and for those unaffected, take this as a serious reminder about what can happen to your credit care information, other private information and to your website.

Image source: http://runawayjuno.com/2012/07/21/taos-pueblo-adobe-architecture-new-mexico/

SEO news blog post by @ 10:30 am


 

 

September 9, 2013

Liquid Galaxy: Science Fiction Becomes Fact

Google Earth is definitely one of the most fascinating playthings in the company’s toybox; it was impressive when it launched in 2001 (under the name ‘Keyhole Earthviewer’) and it remains impressive to this day. I remember logging on as a teenager at home and finding the Eiffel Tower in Paris; back then, the only option was a top-down view, and I was disappointed when I tried to change the angles so I could “stand” next to France’s most iconic building. But Google Earth has taken care of that problem; thanks to Street View being integrated into the program, you can zoom into practically anywhere on Earth and roam the streets, exploring cities you’ve never seen from the comfort of your desk.

That’s not all; Google Earth has added data to allow users to zoom in under the oceans, see the Lunar Lander on the surface of the Moon, and even view high-resolution images of Martian terrain scooped from the Mars Orbiter and Exploration Rovers. Google Earth users can even view historical images, traveling back in time to view what certain areas looked like many years ago. You can explore the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland and the Prado Museum in Madrid.

NGC_4414_(NASA-med)But one of Google Earth’s most incredible features is the one you probably won’t have heard of; it’s an open-source DIY-capable piece of code that takes one step closer to bringing science fiction tech to life. It’s called Liquid Galaxy, and its description—an ‘immersive Google Earth’—doesn’t do nearly enough justice to the possibilities it can create. You won’t find Liquid Galaxy as a major Google release; its official project page is full of technobabble and source code modifications from engineers all over the world. Part of the beauty of the product is that it can be whatever you want it to be. But when it comes down to it, Liquid Galaxy is a design concept that allows you to project Google Earth onto several screens at once, creating a unified surround view of the world. It was originally developed by some Google employees as an independent project; they wanted to recreate the experience of seeing their geo-product imagery in a more seamless way. Using a few extra Linux workstations, they built a big gazebo-style case that housed eight 55-inch LCD screens, and used a cluster of computers to project Google Earth seamlessly and simultaneously—a combination of the Holodeck and a huge flight simulator.

Liquid Galaxy presents an endless amount of potential for teaching everything from geography to climate change and urban planning; after taking Liquid Galaxy on the road and being met with overwhelming praise, in 2010 Google made their configuration, codes, and schematics public so that anyone could rig up their own version. This makes Liquid Galaxy a fasciatingly unique Google product; while it’s been available to the public for three years, very few people have had firsthand experience with one. Georgia State University has a 48-screen display wall using four Windows 7 machines; NASA has one at the Johnson Space Center. Some can be controlled using Xbox Kinect; others use head tracking software. Liquid Galaxy has been used to run the virtual reality game Second Life, allowing players to truly feel as if they’re stepping into Linden Labs’ simulated universe. One civilian user has even rigged a five-screen Liquid Galaxy to run a Quake 3 mod.

If you’re computer-savvy and itching for a new project, you can find the Liquid Galaxy project here. The site contains how-tos, a guide for where to buy pre-built componenets, and encourages users to post their new enhancements, any defects they find, and what they’ve built with the technology. Liquid Galaxy’s open source means that the possibilities really are endless; with a few high-quality computers and a creative imagination you could end up making your wildest science fiction dreams come true.

SEO news blog post by @ 9:35 am


 

 

August 28, 2013

Link Reduction for Nerds

Let’s face it, even with our best efforts to make navigation clear and accessible, many websites are not as easy to navigate as they could be.

It doesn’t matter if you are first page super star, or a mom n pop blog with low traffic, most efforts really are no match for the diversity of our visitors.

When I first started blogging on SEO topics for Beanstalk I took a lot of effort to make my posts as accessible as I could with a bunch of different tricks like <acronym> tags (now they are <abbr> tags) and hyperlinks to any content that could be explored further.

Like a good SEO I added the rel="nofollow" to any external links, because that totally fixes all problems, right?

“No.. Not really.”

External links, when they actually are relevant to your topic, and point to a trusted resource, should not be marked as no-follow. Especially in the case of discussions or dynamic resources where you could be referencing a page that was recently updated with information on your topic. In that case you ‘need’ the crawlers to see that the remote page is relevant now.

Internal links are also a concern when they become redundant or excessive. If all your pages link to all your pages, you’re going to have a bad time.

If you went to a big new building downtown, and you asked the person at the visitors desk for directions and the fellow stopped at every few words to explain what he means by each word, you may never get to understanding the directions, at least not before you’re late for whatever destination you had.

Crawlers, even smart ones like Google Bot, don’t really appreciate 12 different URLs on one page that all go the same place. It’s a waste of resources to keep adding the same URL to the spiders as a bot crawls each of your pages.

In fact in some cases, if your pages have tons of repeated links to more pages with the same internal link structures, all the bots will see are the same few pages/URLs until they take the time push past the repeated links and get deeper into your site.

The boy who cried wolf.

The boy who cried wolf would probably be jumping up and down with another analogy, if the wolves hadn’t eaten him, just as your competition will gladly eat your position in the SERPs if your site is sending the crawlers to all the same pages.

Dave Davies has actually spoken about this many times, both on our blog, and on Search Engine Watch: Internal Linking to Promote Keyword Clusters.

“You really only NEED 1 link per page.”

Technically, you don’t actually need any links on your pages, you could just use Javascript that changes the window.location variable when desired and your pages would still work, but how would the robots get around without a sitemap? How would they understand which pages connect to which? Madness!

But don’t toss Javascript out the window just yet, there’s a middle ground where everyone can win!

If you use Javascript to send clicks to actual links on the page, you can markup more elements of your page without making a spaghetti mess of your navigation and without sending crawlers on repeated visits to duplicate URLs.

“In fact jQuery can do most of the work for you!”

Say I wanted to suggest you look at our Articles section, because we have so many articles, in the Articles section, but I didn’t want our articles page linked too many times?

Just tell jQuery to first find a matching <anchor>:
jQuery("a[href='/articles/']")

Then tell it to add an ID to that URL:
.attr( 'id', '/articles/');

And then tell it to send a click to that ID:
document.getElementById('/articles/').click();

Finally, make sure that your element style clearly matched the site’s style for real hyperlinks (ie: cursor: pointer; text-decoration: underline;)

UPDATE: For Chrome browsers you need to either refresh the page or you have to include the following in your page header: header("X-XSS-Protection: 0");

SEO news blog post by @ 6:07 pm


 

 

August 16, 2013

SEO concerns for Mobile Websites

You want to serve your clients needs regardless of what device they visit your site with, but how do you do it easily without upsetting your SEO?

Lets look at the various options for tackling Mobile sites and what each means in terms of SEO:

Responsive Design :
 
Visual demonstration of responsive web design

  • Responsive design is growing in popularity, especially as communications technology evolves, and bandwidth/memory use is less of a concern.
  • This method also gives us a single URL to work with which helps to keep the sitemap/structure as simple as possible without redirection nightmares.
  • On top of that, Googlebot won’t need to visit multiple URLs to index your content updates.
  • Less to crawl means Googlebot will have a better chance to index more of your pages/get deeper inside your site.
“Why is/was there a concern about mobile page size?”

Low-end mobiles, like a Nokia C6 from 4+ years ago (which was still an offering from major telcos last year), typically require that total page data be less than 1mb in order for the phone to handle the memory needs of rendering/displaying the site.

If you go over that memory limit/tipping point you risk causing the browser to crash with an error that the device memory has been exceeded. Re-loading the browser drops you on the device’s default home-page with all your history lost. I think we could all agree that this is not a good remote experience for potential clients.

Higher-end devices are still victims of their real-world connectivity. Most 3rd generation devices can hit really nice peak speeds, but rarely get into a physical location where those speeds are consistent for a reasonable length of time.

Therefore, even with the latest gee-wiz handsets, your ratio of successfully delivering your entire page to mobile users will be impacted by the amount of data you require them to fetch.

In a responsive web design scenario the main HTML content is typically sent along with CSS markup that caters to the layout/screen limitations of a mobile web browser. While this can mean omission of image data and other resources, many sites simply attempt to ‘resize’ and ‘rearrange’ the content leading to very similar bandwidth/memory needs for mobile sites using responsive design approaches.

The SEO concern with responsive designs is that since the written HTML content is included in the mobile styling it’s very crucial that external search engines/crawlers understand that the mobile styled content is not cloaking or other black-hat techniques. Google does a great job of detecting this and we discuss how a bit later on with some links to Google’s own pages on the topic.

Mobile Pages :

Visual demonstration of mobile web page design

 
If you’ve ever visited ‘mobile.site.com’ or something like that, you’ve already seen what mobile versions of a site can look like. Typically these versions skip reformatting the main site content and they get right down to the business of catering to the unique needs of mobile visitors.

Not only can it be a LOT easier to build a mobile version of your site/pages, you can expect these versions to have more features and be more compatible with a wider range of devices.

Tools like jQuery Mobile will have you making pages in a jiffy and uses modern techniques/HTML5. It’s so easy you could even make a demo image purely for the sake of a blog post! ;)

This also frees up your main site design so you can make changes without worrying what impact it has on mobile.

“What about my content?”

Excellent question!

Mobile versions of sites with lots of useful content (AKA: great websites) can feel like a major hurdle to tackle, but in most cases there’s some awesome solutions to making your content work with mobile versions.

The last thing you’d want to do is block content from mobile visitors, and Google’s ranking algorithm updates in June/2013 agree.

Even something as simple as a faulty redirect where your mobile site is serving up:
mobile.site.com/
..when the visitor requested:
www.site.com/articles/how_to_rank.html

.. is a really bad situation, and in Google’s own words:

“If the content doesn’t exist in a smartphone-friendly format, showing the desktop content is better than redirecting to an irrelevant page.”

 
You might think the solution to ‘light content’ or ‘duplicate content’ in mobile versions is to block crawlers from indexing the mobile versions of a page, but you’d be a bit off the mark because you actually want to make sure crawlers know you have mobile versions to evaluate and rank.

In fact if you hop on over to Google Analytics, you will see that Google is tracking how well your site is doing for mobile, desktop, and tablet visitors:
Example of Google Analytics for a site with mobile SEO issues.

(Nearly double the bounce rate for Mobile? Low page counts/duration as well!?)

 
Google Analytics will show you even more details, so if you want to know how well you do on Android vs. BlackBerry, they can tell you.

“How do the crawlers/search engines sort it out?”

A canonical URL is always a good idea, but using a canonical between a mobile page and the desktop version just makes sense.

A canonical can cancel out any fears of showing duplicate content and help the crawlers understand the relationship between your URLs with just one line of markup.

On the flip-side a rel=”alternate” link in the desktop version of the page will help ensure the connection between them is understood completely.

The following is straight from the Google Developers help docs:

On the desktop page, add:

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/page-1" >

and on the mobile page, the required annotation should be:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/page-1" >

This rel=”canonical” tag on the mobile URL pointing to the desktop page is required.

Even with responsive design, Googlebot is pretty smart, and if you aren’t blocking access to resources intended for a mobile browser, Google can/should detect responsive design from the content itself.

Google’s own help pages confirm this and provide the following example of responsive CSS markup:

    @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) {...}

In this example they are showing us a CSS rule that applies when the screen max-width is 640px; A clear sign that the rules would apply to a mobile device vs. desktop.

Google Webmaster Central takes the information even further, providing tips and examples for implementing responsive design.

Ever wondered how to control what happens when a mobile device rotates and the screen width changes? Click the link above. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 3:51 pm


 

 

February 26, 2013

Google Chrome can point out ‘Noisy’ tabs..

Have you ever had a bunch of tabs open, decided to turn on your speakers/put on your headphones, only to find out that there’s something unexpected making sounds but you don’t know what?


Most annoying demonstration possible..

 
Viola! When you play HTML5 audio in a tab the browser animates the favicon to indicate this. (No, this doesn’t mean Chrome supports animated favicons yet, that’s still not working.)

Now I cheated and used a ‘canary build’ of Chrome to accomplish this, but really, other than working on cleaner animations/UI, this is a ‘must have’ option for all browsers!

I also took the time to show that it’s not ‘visualizing’ the audio in the tab (that would suck up too much CPU resources) but merely drawing on the favicon to indicate that the tab was recently attempting to play audio.

The new build of Chrome apparently also has an icon to indicate when a tab is recording, but I didn’t have any easy examples for demonstrating that option.

One of the things I stumbled on in the process of making this post was too note-worthy to not include in this post.

The ‘canary build’ of Chrome doesn’t use your default Chrome profile, and it can run side-by-side with your currently installed ‘stable’ version of Chrome with no cross-talk.

This meant that I was plopped into the YouTube TV/Movies when I went looking for a video to play, and I stumbled on this bargain:

Red Dawn in 480p for $20 CDN

Clearly YouTube needs to work out some pricing errors because I could get a blu-ray of Red Dawn for $20 brand new, and they go for $8 used online. Seeing that the HD version is $5 more really leaves me wondering how the error was made..

Patrick Swayze

Is it possible there’s a Patrick Swayze fan on the YouTube Movies team?

“Nobody put’s Red Dawn in the discount corner!”

UPDATE: Apparently someone DOES read this, and apparently I am not keeping up on movie releases. This is the 2012 ‘Red Dawn’, a REMAKE of the 1984 original, where the reds are North Koreans, and the plot involves an EMP attack that makes a ground invasion a ‘teeny tiny’ bit more plausible.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:27 pm


 

 

February 7, 2013

That escalated quickly: Google Glass prices, dates, and a spec leak?

I’ve talked about Google Glass already, Finnish them! (Google Glasses and WiFi Liabillity), Google Chronos?, Google develops ARGs for Pirates, many times..

In those articles we were mostly looking at patents and prototypes.

Now we have WIRED.COM and arstechnica.com both spewing out specs based on more patents and some developer info…

A bone conduction listening device.
Hello? Can you ear me?
  • 802.11 b/g 2.4 GHz WLAN
  • Bluetooth ver 4.0 low-energy radio
  • “Bone Conduction” audio playback
  • a $1,500 (£962) price tag
  • developer shipments in early 2013
  • a projected 2014 launch date

Breaking this down, we learn a fair bit from each fact we can establish.

802.11 b/g support means that N mode WiFi won’t likely be supported, and the best guess would be the it’s getting dropped due to power consumption. Additionally, there’s a rumor that the primary data connection for the Google Glass will be a tethered cell phone acting as a ‘modem’ of sorts to expand the Google Glass’s communications range without bulking it up.

The 4.0 version of the Bluetooth radio stack is an exceptionally good match for a device running off of batteries, that sits on your head. This version of the Bluetooth stack supports BLE – Bluetooth Low Energy mode operations that allow a device like Google glass to sip on power and still remain connected to other devices.

If Google Glass had an option to support class 1 (100mW transmissions) networks it would supply you with a range of up to 328′ or 100 meters. If you were a household cleaner you could leave your phone in a central location, put on your Google glasses, and record your cleaning efforts directly to your phone or relay it to a remote server. By doing this you could safe guard yourself against damage claims and other issues presented by the homeowners.

In fact you could also be listening to some music, without blocking your ability to hear other sounds, like a knock at the door, or someone coming home. This is because the Google glass does not block incoming sounds/cover your ears.

The ‘bone conduction‘ audio drivers on the Google Glass send audio vibrations via your skull bones to your inner ear which then ‘hears’ the vibrations as sound.

This means that if you are driving, biking, walking, etc., you can expect the Google Glass audio feedback to be less of an obstruction/safety risk than typical in-ear or over-ear style systems.

Picture wearing these as a lawyer, and someone is attempting to hold you to words you’ve never even said. You could jump to the date/time the original discussion occurred and play it back verbatim, clearing up any mistakes/poor recollection that might otherwise cause endless headaches.

The trick in this case, since a lawyer/doctor, couldn’t ethically record video to an insecure/public location like a ‘Google Hangout’, would be for Google to either offer some sort of private video storage/search/retrieval service (I hear they have some experience with video?), that has the sufficient security clearances to avoid any concerns about storage.

The $1,500.00 price tag is for the Developer’s build of the device, currently being called the ‘Explorer Edition’, that will be shipping this year. In fact Google has said “early this year” as the date, so “sooner than later” is a fine guesstimate.

The signup for the Explorer Edition was actually quite the event, while the attendees were sitting in the conference center Google dropped some ‘Glass’ equipped sky-divers onto the site from an overhead balloon. The video from their Glass units was then streamed inside the event for a bit of a surreal effect.

At the end of the conference the developers willing to pay the $1,500.00 price tag were given a specially etched slate of glass with the serial # of the unit they will be shipping to you later.

A glass brick with a serial number etched into it.
Ooooh my precious.. So shiny..

SEO news blog post by @ 10:44 am


 

 

January 31, 2013

Are you Modern? Take the test!

modern.IE Logo

Two pro-Microsoft posts in one week? I know, Right?!

Clearly we are not masters of fate or IT news, so today’s headline is covering the new modern:IE Test Site setup to assist web developers with creating IE compatible site content.

Wasn’t it like, two days ago that I just pointed out that the big flaw with IE is that the old versions create a web design nightmare? *tap tap* .. Apparently this thing is turned on?

What does it test?

Actually the tool is a suite of tests with some specific test cases for IE browser specific issues.

Here’s a list of categories it will test and report on without setting up a ‘Site Owner’ account:

  • Fix common problems from supporting old versions of IE:
  • Known compatibility issues
  • Compatibility Mode
  • Frameworks & libraries
  • Web standards docmode
  • Help this webpage work well across browsers, across devices:
  • CSS prefixes
  • Browser plug-ins
  • Responsive web design
  • Browser detection
  • Consider building with some new features in Windows 8:
  • Touch browsing default
  • Start screen site tile

If you plug your URL in the page will test all these areas and report back to you where improvements could be made.

Additionally there is a direct link to the ‘Pinned Site Tile’ testing/design tool.

This tool lets you select an image (144×144 pixel PNG) and text for your website when a Windows 8 user wants to ‘Pin’ the site to their start menu.

My experience with the tool wasn’t great, likely due to some caching, but if you test your code against sites that do work properly you can still sort out the needed meta tags quickly enough.

Other Goodies?

Included in the suite is a link to the Internet Explorer Test Drive site to compare HTML5 features and performance with other browsers..

 
Technically, I ended up short on time to cover more, so if you dive in and start to wonder why we didn’t point out something new/interesting, feel free to let us know, we’re always open to feedback. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:20 pm


 

 

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