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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.


November 27, 2012

New YouTube Creator Space in LA

Google’s YouTube service has just launched it’s third Creator Space studio, this time in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles.

Hughes H-4 Hercules Fuselage

The 41,000-square-foot aircraft hangar was formerly used by the US Army for making helicopters in the Vietnam years, and it was the assembly point for the famous Hughes H-4 Hercules transport plane in World War II.

Renovations to the facility have been extensive, with Google adding:
- professional-grade equipment
- green-screen stages
- motion-capture rooms
- screening room
- editing labs
..and more!

Have a look at the video from the UK version of YouTube’s Creator Space:

As you can see, this is a huge boon for aspiring entertainers, actors, producers, and even editors who want to learn the craft.

In fact it reminds me of the library in my Elementary school which had a full VHS recorder, camera, TV, and space to set up a stage. We would take the time to write scripts (bad jokes), dressup (do giant paper chipmunk teeth and thick rimmed glasses count as costumes?), and perform for camera.

While nobody ever watched what we recorded (this was during the advent of VHS), the recording was a popular affair and students would flock to the library when we were doing a show over lunch.

Likewise YouTube is hoping that they will encourage creators to mingle and ‘hang out’ in this space, granting them free reign to come and go as they please for the time period they are allotted.

Signing up for the UK space is done via this customized Google Docs sign up sheet.

There doesn’t appear to be any such sheet for the new California location, but the Creator Hub Website should handle all your inquiries.

The LA Times did a nice job of gathering some photos of the LA Creator Space into a gallery:

The new You Tube facilities in Playa Del Rey

Interestingly enough the same channel also has a really well polished video on YouTube Analytics that I’ve personally never seen previously:

 

Ernie Coombs / Mr.Dressup’s 85th Birthday

November 26th would have been Ernie Coombs’ 85th birthday, and Google Canada celebrated with a Google Doodle.

Mr.Dressup - A Canadian Childrens TV Show

It’s very amazing what one man, a puppet boy named Casey, a magical storage box full of costumes, and a puppet dog named Finnegan can do to engage an audience. When I was young I always wanted a tickle trunk, which really means I still want a tickle trunk because I’ve never grown up. ;)

Mr.Rogers on the other hand always seemed like a strange show, and I never really watched it, favoring our Canadian version, Mr.Dressup.

It’s interesting now to learn that Ernie Coombs, a US citizen, actually worked with Fred Rogers in Canada to debut ‘Misterogers’ which later on became the US children’s TV show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

In fact many of the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” set pieces, such as the Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the ‘tree’, and ‘castle’, were created by CBC designers during the initial 3 year run in Canada.

Mr.Dressup stayed in Canada, and became one of the longest running Canadian TV shows, running between 1967 and 1996 for a span of 29 years.

The actor may have passed on but our memories will linger for generations to come.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:31 am


 

 

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 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


 

 

October 16, 2012

SOON: Surface Tablet from Microsoft

October 26th 2012 will be remembered as the final day before all the snapping sounds started, the eve of the angry school girls holding images of devices they’ve never seen in real life.

 
Don’t get me wrong, I love the functionality that Microsoft has added to their tablet, and the effort they put into getting just the right amount of ‘snap’ feedback, probably cost them a lot more than we’d believe..

Animated GIF of a seal on an ice flow stalked by a polar bear

But, all too soon, the first users will be ‘snapping‘ these open and then hopping into ‘Bing‘ to find something while looking around the coffee shop to see who’s noticing them.. SOON!

All the play on word noises aside, with the 26th a mere 10 days away, the offer to get a Surface in your hands on the release date is pretty cool.

Microsoft is starting with 3 options:

- 64 GB with Black Touch KB Cover $699 (Sold Out)
- 32 GB with Black Cover $599 (Sold Out)
- 32 GB without a cover $499

You can buy the Touch Cover separately for $120 in 5 different badly photo-shopped colors, or buy a ‘physical KB’ style Type Cover for $129.99.

Clearly the discerning owner would have to opt for the ‘Type Cover’ so that it makes click sounds that will turn the heads of iPad users in the coffee shop.

That’s about where the envy will likely stop however, given the 1366×768 resolution, 2GB of RAM, proprietary NVidia T30 CPU, and applications exclusively supplied by the Microsoft Windows Store.

The Windows RT Surface tablet also comes with a trial copy of MS Office 2013 Home/Student RT Preview that you’ll have to upgrade to the full version later when it’s released.

Personally I’d hold off and wait for a NON Windows RT Surface.

- Good luck using a different OS if you find Windows 8 doesn’t match well with your needs
- Your choice of browser is currently IE10 or IE10 Desktop Mode
- Your sole provider of applications is Microsoft

It’s not news that I deeply dislike the idea of limited access/walled gardens/etc., but clearly this isn’t shared with everyone since nothing is slowing down the pre-sales; Heck Microsoft was actually having issues with page loading earlier today!

Oh speaking of which here’s the official link to the Microsoft Surface on the MS Store site.

Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 from the Get Smart TV Series

Get Smart!

Would you believe that Harvard University is giving away free diplomas for their doctorate degrees in Medieval Latin?

No?

How about a free Networking course from Stanford University that covers packet switching and queuing?

No?

Would you believe it’s online and open to anyone?

Yup! If you always wanted to put ‘Stanford University’ on your resume, you can now do it for free, online, and nice reasonable 10 week duration, then click right here!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:04 pm


 

 

October 4, 2012

Google Chronos?

When I was a kid all I really wanted from my wrist watch was to tell the time, date, temperature, speed of movement, elevation, relative humidity, and it had to be a fully working calculator while still fitting on my wrist and not costing more than I could afford.

Casio Calculator Watch

Yeah I was a humble child.

But I wasn’t alone in my desire to have the kitchen sink on my wrist!

Clearly there were others who wanted more than just time from the device they carry everywhere.

In 2001 news of the Bluetooth functions in IBM’s Linux Watch was making headlines in the tech circles I frequented.

IBM Linux Watch (2000-2004)

It was a beast but it ran Linux and X11 on your wrist plus it had Bluetooth communications so it could turn your lights off and on, start the coffee maker, even control your TV/Stereo!

This was back when Bluetooth wasn’t in every single phone, so the obvious connection between the watch and the phone wasn’t there at the time, and this was more of a standalone device vs. and accessory.

Today’s phones however, are very well equiped, and it’s actually unusual to see a phone without bluetooth support; So now the interaction between the watch and a paired phone is driving a new market.

When you think of ‘getting out your phone’ compared to ‘glancing at a watch’ the value of having your timepiece reflecting the status of your nearby phone suddenly ‘clicks’.

If Android is a lean/mean version of Linux developed for mobile devices, why aren’t we seeing it used in a watch?

IBM had this working 12 years ago!?

Enter the Google Watch

Google to the rescue! Well, almost, since it’s just a fresh patent vs. an actual product announcement…

Google Watch from USPTO

If you visit the USPTO link above you’ll see a long list of patented products that are falling into the same classification, some of which are nearly as old as me! Yikes!

Indeed Google’s input is more along the lines of a sister(?) product to the Google Glass project which uses the same display techniques and has a lot of the same goals as this patent.

Speaking of displays, looking at the above image, you’d supposedly release the transparent top display marked as ’30′ (pushing on the latch marked 20?), which would then still keep working as the base display (item 16?) shows other information.

In one of the USPTO images the watch is shown doing some overlay images to apparently assist with price matching/product purchases. If it can break all the sticker prices down by actual price per unit values so they can be compared easily, that alone would make it a must have item for me.

Other Options?

You do NOT have to wait for Google to find the time to build and test this watch.

If you want an Android based watch right now, it’s not cheap, but they are already for sale from other companies.

Here’s the “I’m WATCH(seriously, that’s the name!) from “i’m SpA” (?!):

i'm WATCH - Android watch

It’s attractive, and functional, but it’s not very ‘Google’ and I do believe they found a man with the biggest fingers on the planet to demonstrate it:

The headphone jack seems nuts for a bluetooth device, but it’s very fresh and clearly still a work in progress.

The watch is a device that has to be reliable, functional, and stylish, so it really could take someone like Google to ‘nail it’.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:15 pm


 

 

September 27, 2012

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?

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.

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


 

 

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