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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.


December 6, 2012

#DROIDRAGE Back-Fires and Creates #WINDOWSRAGE

#WINDOWSRAGE

Microsoft is spending an increasing amount of resources on pointing out the faults of it’s competition, reviving the #DROIDRAGE hash-tag at a moment in time when most Android users have very little to rage about.

For me it’s like watching some high-school bully try and make light of his own faults by pointing out the problems with one of the best students in school; Ultimately running out of complaints and resorting to childish tactics in an attempt to keep themselves from looking bad.

In this case the best student is pretty popular, and the insults have backfired on the bully, leaving the bully (Microsoft in this example) feeling like they are standing in public with their pants around their ankles.

The net today is bubbling with annoyed Windows users sharing their frustrations.

For me, a non-mobile PC user, I have general beefs like:

DirectX 11.x will be for Windows8 only?!

Microsoft Security Essentials is getting merged into Windows Defender?!

But if you take a swim through the #windowsrage hash-tag on Twitter you will see a lot of Windows Mobile, XBox, and other flavors of rage against Microsoft’s products.

Meanwhile, Google’s Saving the World..

While I’ve yet to see Google chase after Microsoft’s reputation, it might just be due to them having no time for it, what with all the awesome things Google’s been doing around our planet.

Google Drones seek out poachers

Like a $5 million dollar grant from Google to the WWF that’s getting spent on unmanned aerial ‘drones’. While the WWF doesn’t want to call them ‘drones’ because of military references to the term, that’s pretty much what they are.

Unlike the military’s drones however, these unmanned aerial watchdogs won’t be rigged for anything more than surveillance of the vast areas of land that the WWF protects.

In fact from what I can tell these will just be ‘commercial’ versions of the drones you see hobbyists and flight enthusiasts playing around with.

The $5 million is actually a small part of the $23 million total funding that Google is providing, this year alone, to non-profit organizations with challenges surrounding technology and innovation as part of Google’s Impact Awards Program.

I doubt that’s much of a ‘slag’ on the competition, but apparently Google has bigger goals than mocking/slandering competing companies?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:44 pm


 

 

November 29, 2012

The Karaoke Web Standard

KWS Side bar image

Well Microsoft has finally managed to get a leg up on all the current desktop web browsers available today with it’s new Karaoke Web Standard.

KWS Logo

To quote the KWS wiki entry:

This specification defines a new API, focused on semantic language processing for two-way communication with a remote host. Eschewing typical binary protocols, this new interface creates a system-to-system forced sonic recognition on the receiving party.

The KWS definition page goes on to discuss key points like pending API access to the libation ES codebase, and encourages modification from the base parameters noting that each user has unique aptitudes in variety of related skills.

Indeed while some users, such as myself, have a low threshold for personal embarrassment (regardless of how many times a week I write these posts), I could possess high vocal aptitude that would mitigate a fond user experience if I were to stick with preset templates.

The spec deals with concerns such as bitrate, throttling, error mitigation, audio auth rights, P2P connectivity, and semantic packet delivery, but fails to touch on less favourable issues like hackers that implement auto-tuning modules.

Included with the announcement were two YouTube videos, one that explains the need for the new standard:

 
And a second video that focuses on presenting the new KWS:

 
Oddly the videos came along with a link “thebrowseryoulovedtohate.com” that’s got an extra ‘d’ in every instance?

Come back with my imaginary horse!
The theme is apparently along the lines of “Have you tried IE Lately?”, with the assumption that you’ll like what you see.

 
I’m personally assuming that next week someone on the IE marketing team will get a phat bonus for a spike in downloads that doesn’t correlate to actual user shift.
 

FireFox 64bit?

Waterfox Logo

In related news, FireFox has given up on 64bit development for now, listing a number of issues that make it a very wise decision, regardless of the folks that were ‘enjoying’ the struggle of maintaining a 64bit browser with very little 64bit extension support.

While a 64bit FireFox could theoretically run faster, the added expense of development was taxing the coders and holding back the progress of the browser vs. it’s competition.

If you MUST have a 64bit FireFox there is a build of FF with 64bit support, it’s called ‘WaterFox‘ and you can get it from Sourceforge.

Since I already had FireFox installed I grabbed the portable copy of WaterFox and it runs great, picking up most, if not all, of my FireFox profile/settings.

Personally? I’m using Chrome, and I am writing plugins for Chrome because I feel it’s going to win the browser war thanks to Android, Apple, and many other systems that use the WebKit engine by default.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:50 am


 

 

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

There seems to be a lot of spam vs. turkey this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for!

In fact just today I was reading about how Google is thanking Maps contributors with ‘Badges‘!

If you login to Google and head on over to the Map Maker section of Google Maps you can get started on either reviewing changes that need to be approved/disapproved, or make your own.

The badges are apparently awarded as follows (stolen from IBF):

List of Google MapMaker badges

So Thanks Google, for being Thankful! This is going to work very well for trust factors on your G+ profile, which as we pointed out many times now, should also be the author link for your site content.

In Other News..

DuckDuckGo was trying to prove they could deliver better search results without learning anything about the user.

It would have been neat if it were possible, but I wouldn’t send a stranger out to buy me new shoes, and I don’t want a web search that doesn’t know me either.

At this point DuckDuckGo have been reduced to complaining about Google not selling them cool domain names like “duck.com”, and how many extra clicks it takes to change the search engine in Chrome vs. Firefox.

While I agree that making use of duck.com as a 301 to google.com is a bit ‘cruel’, my guess is that nobody offered Google a fair price for the domain, and it’s not bad business to improve the value by holding onto the name until a valid offer comes along.

If DuckDuckGo wants to disclose how much they offered Google, I may change my opinion, but for now this is just ‘big business’ vs. anything ‘anti-competitive’, and if this is the absolute worst mud that DDG can sling at Google then they have little to complain about.

Google Music Translate

While I have been eager to see someone like Wierd Al tackle the song Gangnam Style with some English lyrics, I am not sure I’m eager to see this ‘project’ come to life:


Heck this was meant to be a joke, but Google is so spooky with it’s tech that this is totally plausible?

Indeed some news sites this morning are actually getting flamed for discussing this as if it were a real service offered by Google.

Well ‘played‘ sirs.. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:53 pm


 

 

November 20, 2012

Should Microsoft ask for a refund?

Steve Balmer really gets worked up at press events..

I don’t know about Steve Ballmer, but if I paid Oprah to advertise my new tablet, I’d demand my money back after she used an iPad to say that the Surface is a better/preferred device.
 
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the tweet of the week:

Oprah Tweets about the Surface using her iPad
Oh no she didn’t. Woman don’t tell me you pushed that out via iPad..?

 
So that really happened, and it’s stirred up some funny arguments about expectations of paid promotions.

If you as a website promoter paid someone to promote your site and they accidentally/incidentally promoted the competition instead, how would you handle it?

Wait, lets see if we can deploy some fancy web tech to help gather your answers!

[yop_poll id="2"]

The next question is how will someone in charge of damage control will explain away Oprah’s iPad based praise of how superior the Surface is?

This is a bit like watching a bus crash in slow motion, except the bus is full of people you really don’t like.

A smiley face eating popcorn and drinking.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:49 pm


 

 

November 15, 2012

Google Ingress – Niantic’s Project

Google's Niantic ARG Logo

My post about creating traffic detours on the internet had a blurb about the Niantic Project where I was speculating that it was indeed a Google Field Trip promotion where you play the game by visiting landmarks to view clues.

I wasn’t too far off with my speculation, today is day 1 of the closed beta for Ingress, a ‘Niantic Project’.

The video gives us a pretty good idea that this will a modified version of Google’s Field Trip app with extra options to interact with both the landmark clues but also potentially other players of the game.

Essentially it looks like the goal is to get enough people from all over the world working together to solve/hack enough of the important clues to solve the mystery.

Clues appear to be well placed so that you get an idea that something is going on with a landmark, but until you find the right interaction with the landmark the information is locked.

From the screen shots we can see there’s a level meter tracking your progress as a player, an energy meter that likely limits your ‘moves’ in the game, and a GUI that was developed specifically for this game.

Right now you can’t join in and play, but you can sign up for the closed beta on the Ingress Homepage.

My guess is that you’ll have to be patient in waiting for a reply to the beta signup. Not only will there be a lot of interest, I’m betting that the team wants to approve people in an even distribution globally.

Picture what would happen if they let people sign up at random. Due to the per-capita density of nerds/landmarks, Canada would solve all it’s clues too soon and try linking it’s gates before any of the other countries are ready to link up.

Back over on Nianticproject.com we have an exotic interactive screen that requires a password with the clue “CLASSIFIED _ _ _ _ _ _ matter” implying that the password is 6 letters long, which fits none of my guesses!

Even getting past that clue leads to more clues, so the game is clearly not going to be solved or won by one person.

Brandon Bager is apparently trying to make me look like a bad guesser. He’s confirmed that at 9:33am the invite script was on the letter “B” for invites.

Perhaps I should go back and add another email address that doesn’t start with an “A”?

Patience!

SEO news blog post by @ 10:54 am


 

 

November 6, 2012

Dogpile on Apple Day!

Dogpile on Apple

Clearly someone neglected to remind me that November 6th is the international Dog Pile on Apple Day!?

Lets take a look at a popular technology subreddit..

Not r/applesucks, just r/technology:

Those are just the current headlines!

Last week we had a great story about internal politics in Apple, and the firing of Scott Forstall, a 15 year vet managing the Apps team.

Some folks felt that the departure was due to a change of attitude at Apple, from Jobs to Cook, where people unwilling to apologize aren’t welcome.

Others look at how Scott handled himself inside the company, acting out much like Jobs did, but without Jobs around he was making enemies instead of friends. Indeed Bob Mansfield cancelled retirement plans with Apple and agreed to 2 more years upon news of Scott’s firing.

It can’t be all that bad really, since Apple sold over 3 million iPads last weekend alone?

Plus, now that Apple lost the legal challenge over money owed to Motorola over patent licences it can just give up all intention of paying.

In fact many observers agree it was Apple’s lack of interest in following the law that cost them the case.

To paraphrase a really good reply to the decision:

Why this was dismissed with prejudice:
Apple wanted the judge to set license fees, but said that they would not agree to the ruling of the judge unless she set it at less than $1 per device.

The judge essentially said, fine, since Apple won’t adhere to legal judgements, Apple’s case is pointless.
The last ditch attempt to say Apple might adhere to legal judgements hasn’t swayed me, I dismiss the case, and Apple can’t bring it to trial further.

Why even bother with a trial when the plaintiff has made it clear they do not respect the law or the potential decision?

If I knew this judge I’d be pleading her to let me take her out for a free meal as a thank you.

So folks, if you see an Apple laying in the gutter, taking a power nap, just know that it’s hard being green.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:07 pm


 

 

October 30, 2012

3 Musketeers: Google Nexus Style

We blogged about the new HD Google Nexus tablet coming from Samsung and Google in the beginning of the month as a stub to an SEO post about Google’s Exact Match Domain fallout, and it’s already official on Google’s Blog.

Google’s press-release/blog post announcement is far more than some details on the new Nexus HD tablet, indeed Google has 3 treats for us in November.

Sadly, while the digital press is unhindered, the actual NYC based Android 4.2 release event was cancelled due to some infamously bad weather.

Nexus 10

Google Nexus 10
Ooop! Ooop! Hey pretty tablet!

 
Lets start with the new HD tablet’s confirmed specs:

  • 10.1″ 300PPI 2560×1600 Resolution LCD
  • Android OS v4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO+HT40)
  • + Bluetooth and NFC (Android Beam)
  • Dual Core Cortex A15 ARM CPU
  • Mali T604 ARM GPU
  • 9000 MAh LiPo Battery
  • 9hr Battery run-time (>500hrs in Standby)
  • Front facing HQ stereo speakers (Movies!)
  • 2 GB of internal RAM
  • 16/32 GB of internal Storage
  • 603 grams (~240 Pennies)

Heck looking at this thing’s sensor list (5mpx front Camera, 2mpx rear Camera, Microphone, Accelerometer, Compass, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Barometer, GPS), all it’s missing is the ability to taste.

… and removable storage?! I find it very odd there’s not one mention of what sort of interface the tablet has for removable storage, though I’d be really shocked if it didn’t support MicroSD cards.

The price is almost as shocking, with the 16GB selling for $399US, and the 32GB version selling for $499US. Both models should be available on the 13th of November, which is also shocking because it’s a bit early for an xmas promotion, but that’s Google for you.
 

Nexus 7

Google Nexus 10

When discussing the middle device in a lineup I’m always reminded of Stealers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle with you.

In this case there’s no clowns to the left or jokers to the right, and nobody’s stuck.

In fact the Nexus 7 will be the mainstream device to buy for each of the kids, and at $199US for the 16GB version, you can afford to have a big family!

Heck the 32GB version is only $50 more at $349US, unless you wanted mobile high speed data access, which tacks on another $50 for a $299US price tag.

The specs aren’t as impressive as it’s big brother, but you do get what you pay for:

  • 7″ 216PPI 1280×800 Resolution LCD
  • Android OS v4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU
  • 16/32GB Internal Storage
  • 1GB of Internal RAM
  • 8 hour 4325 mAh Battery
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth/NFC

The Nexus 7 sports many of the same sensors as the Nexus 10, but it’s single 1.2Mpx camera is clearly just for web-chat/video calling.

The $299 Nexus 7 has fully unlocked HSPA+ support which I am almost certain will be used for more than just web-surfing given the available internet telephony options.
 

Nexus 4

Google Nexus 4

Last but not least is the latest cell phone from Google, the Nexus 4. In fact I seem to have saved the best for last.

This is way more than a phone at this point, we’ve really got to start looking at these devices as mini-tablets because the Nexus 4 has better features and functionality than most existing tablets.

The price gives the Nexus 4′s secret goodness away, the 8GB version goes for $299US, and the 16GB retails for $349US, both of which are unlocked/contract free. That’s not a typo, if you spent $799(CAN) on an unlocked 32GB HTC One X, which has inferior screen hardware, you might want to sell it, quickly.

According to Google’s blog:

The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract (check here for more details).

Sadly, I’ve really run out of space to explain the specs, but the Nexus 4 page on Google’s Play store does cover the details quite nicely.

In a nutshell it’s 4.7″ display, at 1280 x 768, has got the highest pixel density (320ppi) of any device in it’s class.

Indeed, if the world were to switch to this grade of phone and/or tablet hardware the concept of a ‘mobile version’ of your website would be pointless since this hardware has more than sufficient resolution to display a desktop style website.

At these prices the idea of the world switching to Nexus isn’t too far fetched either. I know I’m in the market for a better phone and I’m so glad I went with a standby device and waited for something this good of a value to come out.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:55 pm


 

 

October 24, 2012

Cooling the Google Data Center and the World

In a previous post called “Internet Pollution – The Dirty Secret of the Information Age” I spoke about how the methods and technologies used to cool data centers and the perceived need for people to have instant access to online messaging and archival data are propagating a huge amount of pollution.

On the advent of its 14th birthday Google unveiled its data center in Lenoir, North Carolina to the world. Google then disclosed one of its best kept secrets: "How it cools their multitudes of specialize servers in high density racks".

google-hotaisle image

The Coles notes of the Google cooling process is broken down as follows:

• The entire rooms serves as a cold isle
• Enclosed hot aisles are framed on either side by rows of racks
• Cooling coils circulate cooled water above the racks as a “ceiling” for the hot racks
• The ceiling in turn houses large stainless steel pipes that circulate water to and from cooling tower located in the equipment yard.

We can all agree that the technical knowledge and the applied science required to successfully create and to maintain such an enormous infrastructure is nothing less than incredible and is a very lofty achievement. What was not disclosed by Google was the raw data on their power consumption figures.

Google states that they are committed to reducing consumption and is actively engaged in increasing internal efficiency and give us lots of information to back up their approaches to do so. Creating and promoting energy efficiency does not start and stop at the data center. The more data and features we crave or think we need to have access to drives the machine of the industry and promotes pollution.

Data centers and information technology will continue to become more efficient but if data usage patterns continue to grow at current rates, the environmental benefits will be negligible and will probably even get worse. A fundamental paradigm shift in our global consciousness is necessary to curb our spiraling energy consumption patterns.

In a scenario akin to the decimation of the global environment due to our perceived dependence on petroleum, our escalating usage and reliance on technology requires all users to play an active role in promoting energy efficiency and furthering green technologies.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:05 pm


 

 

October 23, 2012

Wintergrate: Windows 8 Integrated

Steve Ballmer wearing a santa hat.

It’s fall and soon it will be winter, with Old St. Ballmer putting an integrated Windows 8, with integrated Internet Explorer, under the tree for Christmas this year, learning a new UI is all we have to fear.

Yes we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you’ll have to re-learn Windows to love Windows 8.

So then you might ask, “Why bother learning Windows if I have to learn something new?“, which is where this post becomes informative.

Windows 8 isn’t trying to teach old dogs new tricks for the sake of being different; that’s someone else’s logo/catchphrase. Microsoft wants to integrate your devices and applications so that your efforts with one product aren’t wasted in another product.

What’s all this integrated brouhaha? Well this video shows you a sample of it:

That’s pretty cool stuff, and if you have embraced Microsoft products, say you have an XBox based Car-PC, this sort of integration tech between your smart phone or your tablet would really make you glad you invested with Microsoft.

The thing that gets me is that if my phone is over in the corner recharging, and I don’t own a surface, how ‘attached’ will I get to touching my screen vs. locating a mouse and keyboard?

If you become hooked on touching what’s that going to cost in terms of a multi-touch screen?

Looking at my local suppliers, a multi-touch 1080p 21″ screen is $200 more than the same screen without the overlay.

While that’s a lot less than it used to cost for an touch overlay equipped screen, it still adds far too much cost to the screen price to justify the usability.

As someone who has worked with touch technology for over 10years, I can also point out that unless you are super careful your touches will wear the screen in the sections you are touching frequently.

So until they are making it easy to remove/swap overlays I’d predict that this will be a bust in a few years if people adopt the current touch solutions for desktop use.

Do you have a hankering to try Windows 8 even without a touch option? It’s really not recommended but you can challenge yourself to trying it out using VirtualBox and either of the ISO files from this handy page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download (No Signups Needed!)

Search for Life

Google seems to be one step ahead of us, and indeed they have done it again, just weeks after starting a project involving “Conway’s Game of Life“, where I’d suggested we use the algorithm to animate some tiles in a website background.

Having beat me to the punch, I used an image generated from a Google search as the background image of this post.

However, if readers suggest some good images to tile and animate for a fun use of the code, I’m keen for suggestions, as long as they aren’t all along the lines of: “Grab random puppy and kitten images from Google image search and use those for the squares!”

SEO news blog post by @ 11:10 am


 

 

October 18, 2012

Google Rickroll’d the Internet

So Google has time for more than attacking your websites with black and white animals. They recently did a virtual ‘street-view’ tour of a Google data center in Lenoir, North Carolina, and managed to include some ‘easter eggs’ in the process.

Here’s the ‘video tour’ with nice audio explaining the various sections of the Street View tour:

 
Not missing a beat, Google’s G+ account noticed the recursive nature of the servers taking a picture of the servers that would then host the pictures of the servers taking pictures of the servers..

Google+ post from Google about Google Street view inside a Google Data Center that hosts Street View data.

 
Folks with a keen eye will notice some ‘odd’ images in the tour, including the world’s largest ever single Rick Roll attempt:

A Google employee casually shares the same video on two screens. Apparently he's never going to give us up or let us down, never going to run around and desert us..

 
Someone hiding in a costume that looks like an android:

A Google employee dressed as an android inside a Google Data Center.
Love the white boards! All offices need whiteboards!

 
And even an image of their on-site security team:

A Google employee dressed as a stormtrooper and a mini R2 unit stand guard inside a Google Data Center.

 
Some good humor from Google, and a really neat tour of something that is typically a very private operation.

One last ‘observation’, I also like the advice of freshly washed/sliced veggies, like celery/carrots as an item to have beside your keyboard throughout the day. As the sign says, those veggies are a good source of fiber which is really important if you give a .. darn. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:39 am


 

 

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