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Happy Nikola Tesla Day

Nikola Tesla and his Tesla coils.

Today marks the birth of one of the finest brains the planet Earth has offered up.  When we think of the great minds of science Nikola Tesla too often gets lost among the names of often lesser minds who happen to have been more marketable (I’m looking at you Edison).  I should note that after Da Vinci, Tesla is my personal favorite among the scientists of the modern world.  As I type that I realize how incredibly nerdy that sounds/is but I thought it relevant to the note my bias. :)

What Makes Nikola Tesla Great?

I’ll keep things short and sweet in today’s post and link below to a ton of great resources (many funny and/or edgy so the read shouldn’t be too dry in case you’re worried).  Here’s what he’s known for among those that even know his name:

  • He held 111 patents.
  • He invented the radio.
  • He invented the AC motor.  He was in a battle with Edison who championed the DC motor.  Tesla was right, Edison was remembered.
  • He invented devices for X-rays.
  • Dramatically improved the efficiency of the movement of electricity through cables (basically making it possible to power homes).
  • Robots. (seriously … he invented the first robot)
  • And of course, he invented the Tesla Coil (image above).

There’s more to the man than just a few inventions.  Reading his story is filled with intrigue (he was screwed out of $50,000 by Edison) to sadness (he died poor and alone in a hotel room) to just curiosities in a “how does a person end up like that” kind of way.  If you’re interested (and I hope you are) you can read more about Nikola Tesla at:

Nikola Tesla Resources:

And so very much more.

You can just search on Google to find huge numbers of resources on a geek who’s known among geeks but very few others.  Credit where it’s due … the world would not be what it is without Nikola Tesla.

Now rarely do I put potentially questionable materials in our blog but a couple of my favorite comedians hosted a series in which they get a historian drunk and then act out the tale he tells.  One such story is on Nikola Tesla.  Warning: there is some language that may be offensive but it definitely gets to the point.

Drunk History vol. 6 w/ John C. Reilly & Crispin Glover from Drunk History

SEO news blog post by @ 9:49 am on July 10, 2012

Categories:just for fun,Misc

 

Chrome on iOS: Your move Apple

We know that Apple has been making a break from Google, I even blogged about it last week in my ‘Apple: On the Charge!‘ post discussing the switch away from Google Maps and Google Search.

Now, almost as if they were holding back a sucker punch, Google has released a version of Chrome for iOS. This means that you can stay logged into Chrome on almost any device you can connect to the internet with, and that’s some pretty big bragging rights!
 

Google logo with d20 dice
If this was DnD Google just landed a 19 on a d20 attack roll and with Google’s attack bonus Apple is going to either get a critical head shot or get lucky with a dodge roll.

 
Here’s the video Google put out to tease us (this is also a great round up of the Chrome profile option):

 
Now don’t get too excited.. Even with a video demonstration from Google, word is that the App isn’t available yet and common opinion is that Apple is going to stall or veto the option to use Chrome on iOS.

Keep in mind that the browser demo is using the Safari Webkit engine, not Google’s modified engine or rendering improvements. You won’t get flash support from this, and you also won’t be able to make this your default browser even if Apple allows it, which is still dicey. ;)

We’ve been a bit light on the blog this week due to end of month madness but we’ll be back to regular soon, and just in case we don’t manage a Friday post, Happy Canada Day!
A Canadian mountie holding a domokun and a flag

SEO news blog post by @ 1:27 pm on June 28, 2012


 

May the Fourth Be With You / Star Wars Appreciation Day and the SEO Connection

dave-seo rebel

The Star Wars saga continues to grow in popularity with the increasing May the Fourth be with You/Star Wars Appreciation Day. This unofficial day of recognition for anything Star Wars has grown from a meager recognition but has been given a ‘faster than the Millennium Falcon making the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs’ boost in popularity mainly due to SEO’s.

Search Engine Land has put together a great blog article about the role that SEOs have had in the rise in popularity of Star Wars Day. The growth in popularity of the internet meme that propagated the Star Wars Day phenomenon, speaks to the multitudes of youngling Padawans that grew up with the Star Wars movies (the original episodes 4,5,6…not episodes 1,2,3).

I take great personal pride that the first movie I watched in a theatre was Star Wars. I was immediately hooked. From the fly through opening text, to Chewbacca’s growl at the end of the award ceremony! Needless to say I dressed up as Luke Skywalker that year for Halloween. Buy why should we stop there? I think an internet community, we can encourage the spread of Star Wars Day phenomena and have people dress up for the May the Fourth date next year in appropriate star wars garb! Who’s with me? (pics to follow next year :-). Maybe a flash mob of stormtroopers and/or Jedi?

In very much the same way, Beanstalk SEO is akin to the Rebel Alliance. We are a last bastion of white-hat SEOs trying to work within the confines of the Google Empirerebel while staving off a constant barrage from the black-hat forces of scum and villany seeking to bring ruin to our peaceful Alderaan of search results. (ok, the metaphor was a stretch, but just go with it…)

Remember: Don’t give into hate. Do not turn to the Dark Side as Vader did. Complete your training and become an effective SEO Jedi worthy of a seat on the White-Hat SEO Jedi Council. Many Bothans died to bring you this message….

Have fun with this soundboard from starwars.com

SEO news blog post by @ 3:55 pm on May 4, 2012

Categories:just for fun

 

Google’s Self Driving Cars – More than a vision

As an SEO who loves 12 volt tech, cars, and robotics, I tend to focus on these updates from Google’s self driving car project. This morning I came across a video showing off the first official self driving car ‘user’ Steve Mahan, who is legally (95%) blind.

My only disappointment with the video was that Steve’s user # at the end of the video:
“#0,000,000,001″
..would only indicate ‘billions’ and not a ‘googol’ of users like :
“#00,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­001″
See how witty that would have been?

Okay I also wasn’t impressed with the parking, just getting the car into the slot like that reminds me of driving past the local bingo hall. Where’s the pride in parking accurately?

After seeing this sort of result from Google’s innovations it’s really sad to hear rumour that Google is pushing to trim the fat and look at reducing all the innovations it’s known for. Considering the volume of ‘Google is evil‘ and ‘Google just wants to steal our info‘ rumours that keep going around, hopefully the users can see that actions are more honest than words?

A Minecraft Demo Video?!

Yes indeed! I managed to find no solutions to the darkness issue, so I took a video of something that looks great when it’s dark: Lightning!

http://vimeo.com/39324558

In fact one of the fellows who’s helped with the detailing stole our thunder over on Reddit’s r/minecraft, but we’re cool with it. Would have been nice if he’d link over to the contest page, but we understand. *sob*

The video, even as dark as it is, does give a sneak peek of the Beanstalk we’ve been building on the demo server. Hopefully we’re providing inspiration vs. stealing all the good ideas. ;)

Speaking of ideas, we are still fishing for some good ways to detail the Goose nest and how to make ‘leafs’ that look thin on the Beanstalk. Serious brownie points are available for anyone who shares a way to get around those hurdles so we can focus on other parts of the maps.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:39 am on March 29, 2012


 

Google IO is a sellout

I know we’ve been anti-Google the last few weeks, but Google’s upcoming IO conference really did sell-out, in 20 mins no less!
GoogleIO 2012 Sold Out
With only 5,500 seats the 20 minute sell-out wasn’t too shocking, but the $2,000 EBay auction for a Google IO ticket took me by surprise. I tried to go find it for a confirmation picture but it was already nuked. Even at the full price of $900 a pop, the scalping price was over double! Heck educational admission ticket prices are only $300 each!?

If you’re wondering ‘what the heck is Google IO?’ that could be our fault, because our post about it last year, Ooh Shiny! ChromeOS & ChromeBook, was totally about the new ChromeBook and not the conference.. Oh man!

Each year Google hosts it’s Input/Output conference to not only share a vision of what’s ahead for Google, but also to get some feedback from the developers and users that work with Google’s solutions.

As is the case each year the team of nerds over at Google have put together a ‘chrome experiment‘ for anyone with a Google account.

The splash page for the Google IO event experiment teases us with the following:

“Brush up on your geometry, dust off your protractor, and architect a machine only you could have dreamt of. Join developers tackling our latest Chrome Experiment for a chance to have your machine featured at Google I/O.”

… yet the site seems a wee bit too popular at the moment, refusing to proceed into the actual site no matter how many times your click it. I’ll have to keep trying but right now it looks like I’ll have to come back and update after lunch.

If you REALLY wanted to click something to fiddle with in your browser, and it has to work right this second, well try Browser Quest from Mozilla Labs! While the game is currently still up and running I expect it will completely flat-line as it reaches peak popularity. I am running around as DobbieBobkins if you get in.

Browser Quest is an HTML5 site, with everything using the latest web-tech available. Don’t let those 8-bit graphics fool you, this is a modern technical demonstration. I’ve seen the game work with the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera, just fine, though Opera was loading like dirt because of some broken plugins.

Speaking of coming back to things. I keep saying that we will have more on the Beanstalk Minecraft map contest, including some videos to inspire folks with ideas.. Sadly I am SO out of date with video capture that it boggles the mind.

Apparently my problem with recording is missing codecs, so I installed the FFdshow package which supposedly contains the right codecs to maintain the correct color space and gamma values in my source videos. If that sounded like Spanish, in a nutshell I’m fixing some dark video issues. :)

Here’s my last upload fresh off the preview screen, and it’s STILL TOO DARK?

http://vimeo.com/39291926

So, for now, today’s post is more of a bookmark, with some Google IO teasing, to be visited again after lunch when things are less popular. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 1:38 pm on March 27, 2012


 

USA Dot COM

How do you feel about the US ‘owning’ .COM (and .cc, .net, .name, .org, and .tv) regardless of the international needs of the internet?
USA dot COM
Well the U.S. government feels pretty good about it and is exercising a controversial level of control over these TLDs by squeezing the US based VeriSign.

The logic is: if the businesses that control the domains are operating on US soil then it’s American controlled.

There has always been a desire to de-Americanize the internet by restructuring core components outside of US controlled entities but the cost and fears of this sort of uber-nationalist attitude have been ever-present roadblocks. It is sadly ironic then that the US itself isn’t safe from the whims of the local government.

Why so much attention when this has happened hundreds of times previously?

BoDog Poop'd On

Last week a Canadian registered .com (BoDog.com) was taken offline by federal US authorities because the site was making it possible for American citizens to gamble on-line with payouts.

BoDog.com’s business practices are not illegal globally however and having the site shut down by US authorities has a lot of people, myself included, complaining that this is going way too far.

The reason BoDog.com went down under US pressure is because it was registered with DomainClip in Canada which is merely a VeriSign subcontractor. Even then, you have an international business shuttered by the whims of one country’s governmental policies.

VeriSign is throwing it’s hands up in the air proclaiming innocence and pointing out that they are just abiding by court orders that the US based company is lawfully obligated to follow.

So does this mean that you should toss your SEO campaign aside and find a way to register the site outside of VeriSign’s control? Not necessarily.

Unless you are running a site that isn’t US based at all, or likely to come under fire from the US Government, there isn’t much to fear from this situation, at present. If you run an international gambling site and you made the mistake of registering it with a VeriSign affiliate, then you might want to go change it, quickly.

Personally, if this sort of activity continues unfettered, I expect to see a strong push for the ITU to take over some or all of ICANN’s roles. The internet isn’t just an American thing, it can’t be, and the international community won’t tolerate meddling much longer before some sort of action is taken.

And finally, on a different topic, yet similar struggle for control, I have to give Bing a mention for this amazingly bad anti-Google ‘Googlighting’ video:

Yep. Bing used YouTube to burn Google.

For anyone too young to remember 80s television, this was a parody of Moonlighting (TV series) and boy did they do a bad job of Bruce, not that their version of Cybil was much better.. ;)

Most companies can survive simply by putting their best foot forward. Bing seems to think this isn’t enough and that we need to be informed of how dumb we are buying using Google’s framework of tools.

Google was so moved by this advert that Mark Striebeck, the manager of GMail, wore a similar tie at a recent Google technology demonstration to show some good sportsmanship.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:17 am on March 6, 2012


 

RIP Ralph McQuarrie; May the Force will be with you…always.

Ralph McQuarrie

A little bit off the SEO-topic today, but I wanted to say goodbye to Ralph McQuarrie; the man who created the look and feel of many Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2. McQuarrie helped to design sets and scenes for George Lucas. McQuarrie died Mon MArch 3rdat the age of 82. Lucas and McQuarrie after Lucas’s first feature film “THX-1138” and asked him to design what ultimately became the movie "Star Wars."

Though Lucas provided some original source material, McQuarrie brought his vision to life by creating the alien worlds, various species, spaceships and costumes that would breathe life into the Star Wars universe.

the art of Ralph McQuarrie

The success of his "Star Wars" paintings launched a late feature film career for McQuarrie that included helping design such classics as "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial," "Back to the Future," "Cocoon," "Total Recall," and the original TV series "Battlestar Galactica."

In the article from CBS News, Lucas expresses the wonderful admiration of McQuarrie as:

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man," George Lucas said in a statement. "Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.’"

"In many ways, he was a generous father to a conceptual art revolution that was born of his artwork, and which seized the imaginations of thousands and propelled them into the film industry. In that way, we will all be benefiting from his oeuvre for generations to come," Lucas said.

"Beyond that, I will always remember him as a kind and patient, and wonderfully talented, friend and collaborator."

The Early Years

McQuarrie was born Ralph Angus McQuarrie on June 13, 1929 in Gary, Indiana and was raised on a farm near Billings, Montana. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War, surviving a shot to the head. After returning from the war, McQuarrie moved to California in the 1960s, studying at the Art Center School, then in downtown Los Angeles. Initially he worked for a dentistry firm, drawing teeth and equipment, before working as a technical illustrator for Boeing, as well designing film posters and animating CBS News’s coverage of the Apollo space program at the three-man company Reel Three. While there, McQuarrie was asked by Hal Barwood to produce some illustrations for a film project he and Matthew Robbins were starting. (source: Wikipedia)

To see some of his amazing art work that help fashion a universe and movie franchise check out the The Art of Ralph McQuarrie.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:13 am on March 5, 2012

Categories:just for fun

 

Beanstalk Minecraft 1.2 Contest

UPDATE: Contest has been EXTENDED until May 31st 2012 in order to give all participants a chance to finish their masterpieces.

As I mention on the blog yesterday, Minecraft 1.2x has been released, and today they are already at 1.2.3 (gee that’s easy!) after fixing some bugs.

Announcing:

Beanstalk's Minecraft 1.2 Contest

Minecraft Map Making Competition

  • First Prize: Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) tablet + Minecraft PE installed (~$300 value)!
  • Top 5 entries will be featured!
  • SMP, CMP, CSP, or SSP!
  • The Beanstalk map contest runs until May 31st, 2012
UPDATE: While we finalize map-upload options, if you want to submit a map for us to download please use this link so we know to send your submissions to the right folks. Thanks!

 

We really play a lot of Minecraft here and we have always wanted a 3d fly-by of a Beanstalk.

It wouldn’t be too hard to make something in SketchUp or pay someone to make something in 3DS or Blender, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun or as cool as doing it in Minecraft.

The problem we had was the man with the $50 to give away really felt that there should be a castle at the top of the Beanstalk, way above the clouds, for a ‘Jack’ to explore.

Up until recently there were only hacks/mods to make Minecraft maps above 128 z levels.

Now with Minecraft 1.2x and it’s Anvil format maps that issue is moot. Now there’s LOTS of vertical space to make the beanstalk, and a giant size castle!

The end result would be something like this without the limits that were in place when this video was made:
[jwplayer mediaid="3484"]

Personally I’d like to go for a giant beanstalk with a hollow interior, sort of twisting as it gets taller and more slender at the top. I’d also want to try and make something giant sized that works.. Like a light cube that’s built so that it still lights up when you hit a giant switch? Or a giant wood+wool version of a bed with a real bed placed just dead center so it looks right and is still functional?

Maps can be submitted from creative or survival, and it can be a multi-player or single player map, they just can’t require texture packs or mods to be scored. So you could fire up a server, invite a few friends, and raffle off the prize amongst yourselves, it’s up to you.

Maps submitted are ours, so you can’t send in a link to a server or a video, we want maps we can load up and test in-game. We might even offer the maps for download, but we’d have to confirm there’s zero ‘Easter eggs’ obviously.

For fairness we’ll pick the top 5 maps just to make sure we have some ‘say’ but the #1 map will be selected by voting (most of us are huge gamers/nerds so anyone can submit, anyone can vote).

I am trying to get something set aside as prizes for the top 5 (on top of the winner prize), but right now it’s up in the air and the only thing we can offer the runners-up is your name in print and your mapping skills featured/recognized on-line.

Beanstalk 1.2 Demo Map

This map was made for explaining the contest and as a summary of the changes in the 1.2 release.

Sadly we’re also busy SEOs and we can’t be doing keyword research while we’re building maps so I have to push this out ‘as-is’ and hope it’s still handy as a reference and gives folks some ideas, like how to get up a vertical shaft quickly.

Beanstalk 1.2 Demo Map Download
Beanstalk 1.2 Demo Map Download (DX version)
(DX version has 2 very large Menger sponges, and is very CPU intense. This ClearLightstone texture pack has a special ‘Menger’ Gold Brick texture.)

NOTE: Due to the differences between the weekly builds and the release versions, this map has some unusual lighting features that are not currently easy to re-produce.

This was especially difficult for me when I was making the ‘Beanstalk’ sign in the distance and only some blocks leak light. Once the lighting glitches are consistent I’ll re-visit that sign idea and animate it.;)

Up for entering? You can do so here.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:14 pm on March 2, 2012


 

Searching for love with Google

In my years on-line (wow I’m old!) I’ve searched for some really strange things but never have I used Google to find the answers to matters of the heart, that’s just kooky. It’s actually as kooky as Google’s Valentines day video/doodle:
[jwplayer mediaid="3366"]

I mean really, milk and cookies? Those two can’t stay together for more than 5 mins without ruining each other. Who is Google kidding?

The one thing that strikes me about this is that Google couldn’t even demo some search queries for finding Valentines gifts, and had to just show some random pixels on the screen?

Giving this a try on my own I suddenly see the problem, a Google search for the phrase, “a gift for the girl who has everything except me”, really doesn’t match anything. :)

So Google’s not cupid, and the video’s a bit stupid.. but there’s something about that doodle:
google-valetinesdoodle
Aha! I’ve got it! The gay couple and the astronaut aren’t playing skip rope! That’s blasphemy! Someone call Google and get someone in charge on the phone!

It’s amazing that Google managed to toss that out without more ‘conversation’, I did get a kick out of articles like this blasphemy peice on WatchPlayRead’s blog.

Okay so it was a dry day for search engine optimization, but even nerds got into the spirit of the holiday. Speaking of nerdy, we have another macro image for anyone who wants to guess.
(Remember, we’re going to give credit to the winner right here on the blog, and on our social media accounts, so it’s a good ‘mention’ for the winning guess.
Try and guess as close as possible what this is

February Macro 3 – If you think you know what this is, or where this is, send us your best guess via Twitter or G+

SEO news blog post by @ 12:50 pm on February 15, 2012


 

Happy Holidays From Beanstalk *<{}:o) }}

Merry Christmas image.

We at Beanstalk would like to thank all our clients, blog and article readers and supporters for another fantastic year.  As we head into the holidays, it’s a fantastic time to reflect back on the past year and be grateful for being part of a wonderful community and for the clients that have allowed us to continue to do the work we love, for people we love to do it for.  We wish you and yours all the very best this holiday season and hopes for a very prosperous new year.

For all our clients and those wishing to contact us, we will have special hours of operation over the holidays.  They are:

December 22nd – closing at 1PM for our staff Christmas party
December 23rd – closed
December 24th – closed
December 25th – closed
December 26th – closed
December 27th – open and ready to serve you

If you are a client and there is an urgent need to contact us over the holidays the email emergency (at) beanstalk-inc.com is where to direct your emails to insure they don’t get mixed in with others.  This email will be checked periodically over the break however during this time an emergency will be defined as a crucial event such as a site being down or other major issue.  Unfortunately we won’t be able to respond to all casual questions.  We’ll all be spending time with our families and loved ones and hope you are too. :)

So once again … from all of us at Beanstalk to all of you: Happy Holidays.  Now stop surfing the web and get to the festivities. :)

Special Thanks:  To Gemini Computers and Jim Boykin and his Internet Marketing Ninjas for the kind thoughts and appreciated holiday gifts.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:05 pm on December 22, 2011


 

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