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IE – Outfoxed and Polished Off?

At the end of this month major traffic watchers and statistical houses started releasing data showing that for the first time, Internet Explorer is below the 50% market share level for internet browsers.

out·fox (out-foks)
tr.v. out·foxed, out·fox·ing, out·fox·es
To surpass (another) in cleverness or cunning; outsmart.

pol·ish (polish)
v. pol·ished, pol·ish·ing, pol·ish·es
Phrasal Verb:
polish off Informal
To finish or dispose of quickly and easily.

The Data

As anyone experienced with data will tell you, the flaw is in the details.

Data can only be as complex and smart as the sources it’s coming from, which is always a problem. So as you gaze at the various data sources, remember that nobody can really track every browser session, the best they can try for is a ‘fair average’.

To that end here’s one of the best charts I could locate:

Browser market share as of Nov 2011

First thing to note is the decline of IE, but more interesting is that Chrome, and Safari (hiding behind the others) are gaining ground while FireFox is losing some ground. Technically Safari is growing faster than Chrome, but when you consider that Safari is the default browser of all those iOS devices selling like hot-cakes, the fact that Chrome’s growing almost as fast, really tells us something.

I know there’s been some ‘landmark’ moments in browser shares before. I think I’ve even blogged on here about it before, but this is a unique moment that I don’t think we’ll see again for some time.

Short lived losses?

Windows 8 will be a really big win for IE market share.
This is how Windows 8 will greet the user by default:

Windows 8 built in IE

..notice the inception of Microsoft Bing, inside Microsoft IE, inside Microsoft Windows 8?

I’m sure milk comes shooting out of Google’s nose when they see stuff like this going on with new products that will be sold to the world.

I won’t rant on this point, I’ll just remind readers of the post I’ve already made on Windows 8 earlier this year.

In a nutshell I’m almost tempted to print the above image (here’s a larger version) and stick it on the wall because once Windows 8 rolls out I don’t think we’ll see that blue section that small for a long time.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:42 pm on November 3, 2011

Categories:Articles,Misc,SEO Tools

 

Back to the Future – Mid October Tech Announcements

SEO News is often dry and since the search engines drive the news, there can be some slow days for discussions on topic. Today was a perfect example of headlines that just don’t make the grade, but at least they had a common theme: Back to the Future?

Quantum Levitation brings the hover board closer to reality:

In this video we see how ‘quantum locking’ (or flux pinning) can work with a superconductor to ‘levitate’. That’s the gist I got from it, yet the whole time I’m thinking about how I’d love one of those hover boards from Back to the Future:

Marty McFly's hoverboard.
(Yeah those are tin pie pans..)

Coming Soon: Electric Deloreans!
The DeLorean Motor Company “DMC” announced a DMC-12 Electric Delorean:

The Delorean DMC-12 Electric Sports Car

..okay so that’s where the McFly references ended.

While you could do a web search from the dash of an electric car, it’s not very web related? To tug us a bit closer back on topic, yet not entirely, I’ll close with a reminder about Google’s remote desktop beta extension for Chrome.

Chrome remote desktop beta getting positive feedback:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gbchcmhmhahfdphkhkmpfmihenigjmpp?hl=en-GB&hc=search&hcp=main

All you need is a Chromebook or Chrome browser on both ends, start a sharing session, send the code to the other end, and viola, you’re connected.

This does away with IP addresses, running services, or trusting one of the 3rd party commercial vendors with secure access to your machines.

Since this is a challenge/response setup in the beta phase, Google’s solution won’t be replacing large IT support offerings, but for 1-on-1 support it’s very handy.

Next time a client asks me about some SEO statistics on their PC, instead of describing what I think they can see over the phone, I’ll give this a whirl so we’re both on the same page. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:17 pm on October 18, 2011


 

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

 

Steve Jobs was a hero for me as a child. I have stacks of old Macintosh magazines from back when I was a deep fan of everything Apple. Steve Jobs, even back then, was someone people would look up to and respect, and reading interviews with him was always a pleasure.

Even Rob Janoff, the logo wizard that fashioned the Apple logo, Fedex, VW, and more, working with leaders at the top of all those companies, made a special comment about working with Steve Jobs and how much of a visionary he was.

I’m sure there’s some SEO discussion to be had surrounding the passing of such a man/contribution to the world of computers, but all I’d like to do is say ‘Thanks’ for everything he shared with us and hopefully Steve’s finally getting some well deserved rest in peace. You won’t be forgotten Mr.Jobs.

Dave’s note:

And just to put an exclamation mark on the impact Jobs had on culture, here’s the revolutionary video that aired at the Superbowl in 1984:

SEO news blog post by @ 10:18 am on October 6, 2011

Categories:Misc

 

Not everything can be sold online

Typically there’s always been limits on what could be sold online.

While not impossible, selling art online is difficult because it’s is challenging to engage your customer with a small ‘preview’ of the art, and anything larger than a thumbnail might get stolen/resold by unsavory types.

Sample Art Image - Mona Lisa

But what happens when your customers aren’t online, and don’t even use electricity or cell phones? This seems unthinkable but there’s a growing community in the US for WiFi refugees.

Seriously…
In November of 1958 the Federal Communications Commission setup the first and only national radio quiet zone to negate possible interference with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia. This zone is an impressive 13,000 sq. miles of mountainous terrain that is a perfect natural shelter from radio interference.

Updated view of the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ)

The degree to which the area is protected is a bit staggering.
I recall reading a story on the area in a 2002 Wired publication where they interviewed a ‘patrolman’ who protects the area from intrusions.

In that article the fellow describes how he had to locate a source of new disturbance that ultimately turned out to be an old electric blanket that was used to keep a dog house warm. The blanket was worn and had started shorting out, causing the radio interference. The patrolman was happy to replace the blanket with a new one and remedy the source of interference.

This morning the web has been buzzing with an article documenting the area as a safe-haven for WiFi ‘refugees’ or people who believe they are victims of ‘Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity’ or ‘EHS’, a non-medically recognized sensitivity to electromagnetic interference within the human body.

Many controlled tests have been performed on suspected suffers of the condition, yet not one has been able to scientifically assess whether the effects of electromagnetic fields have the ability to produce symptoms in the human body.

Never the less there is a growing community of ‘refugees’ that swear they had no choice but to move to the area in order to mitigate symptoms they believe are directly related to exposure from electronics and wireless radio signals. In one case, 70-year old Nichols Fox claims that she is better off dealing with the risks of gas powered lighting, refrigeration, and heating because her body reacts so severely to the presence of electronics.

The community is puzzling to many, and Bob Park, a physics professor at the University of Maryland is one of them. Professor Park’s observations conclude that radiation emitted by wi-fi is simply too weak to cause the type of changes in the body’s chemistry that could make people sick. He went on to state the following on this topic :

“The bigger problem that we face is that in our society, driven by technological change, people have very little education” he says.
“There are lots of things people need to learn and they’re not learning it. The thing that’s going to kill them is ignorance.”
- Bob Park

So, to anyone wishing to provide services to such a community, you clearly are out of luck if you wanted to approach the problem online, because your client base would never see the offers you are promoting.

This is truly sad news for fans of the AFDB like Canaille and her owner Wally Glenn:
The Cat and the Tin Foil Hat

SEO news blog post by @ 12:29 pm on September 13, 2011


 

Google Voice is Skype hunting

Starting on August 2nd, Google Voice is now international with worldwide support for the voice over IP calling service.

Skype Hunting

This move also marks full support for 38 different languages, and 4 different currencies (Euros, British Pounds, US Dollars, and Canadian Dollars) in which to stock up on calling credits. Google also claims that they have lowered calling rates to 150+ locations making it even easier and cheaper to connect internationally.

Google voice international calling rates
Click here for a complete list.

Speaking of connection fees, there are none. You will only be charged for the call time, no conversion fees, and there’s nothing extra hidden in the billing process other than local taxes which you would pay to any legitimate service. Calling between Canada and the US is still free for the rest of 2011, which is also very nice.
Call quality is getting smart

But how is the quality?

To be fair, consider these points :

  • I’m a Skype customer of over 4 years
  • I own a USB to RJ10 Skype adapter
  • I use analog & bluetooth microphones/headsets
  • I’ve spent hours talking over Skype
  • I’ve used Skype mobile (WM6.5)
  • I have over $30 US of unused Skype credit
  • I prefer to use Google Voice for quality..
  • Skype was the early adopter
  • Skype used whatever tech was available
  • Google has access to new hardware/software
  • Google has very deep pockets
  • Microsoft’s takeover hasn’t improved anything

Even with MS backing, Skype is at a disadvantage and it shows in call quality compared to the same calls made over Google voice. There’s less latency, less echo, and the dialling pad works more reliably with Google Voice as compared to Skype. Because we’re an English language SEO, my experience is almost entirely with calls from Canada to other Canadian phones, the US, Mexico, and the UK. I would not be surprised to hear that Skype has more modern services in freshly installed countries, but I can’t say I’ve experienced this at all.

I also can’t say that I have used the video chat feature of Google Voice, whereas I’ve actually had Skype video chat working on my car’s PC where people have called me mid-drive only to find I’m not looking them in the eye, and there’s a blur of scenery in the background. So if you wanted an opinion on video chat, I can’t help at all on that question right now as I have only tried Skype’s service.

Even if you don’t use VoIP and you’re a devote land line owner (still irreplaceable for emergencies), this is another face off between Google and Microsoft, and Microsoft has a friend with them in the ring. It should be an interesting scramble to the top with the consumers coming out as the lucky ones.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:11 pm on August 4, 2011

Categories:Google,Misc,Skype

 

Happy BC Day!

The first monday of August in Canada is used, for the most part, to celebrate our provinces:

  • Newfoundland – Regatta Day
  • Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan Day
  • British Columbia – British Columbia Day
  • Nova Scotia and PEI – Natal Day
  • Toronto – Simcoe Day
  • Ottawa – Colonel By Day
  • Burlington – Joseph Brant day

The Civic Holiday is commonly referred to as the August Long Weekend.

It is probably the busiest day on highways as tens of thousands of families go camping, to cottages etc this weekend.

National Flags

SEO news blog post by @ 1:13 pm on August 1, 2011

Categories:just for fun,Misc

 

What do you love ~ Google Thorough-Good

Just when I was wondering what Google’s been doing to tie it’s products together for the uninitiated, they launch the ‘What do you love?’ service.

I could hyperlink the URL, but it’s super easy to memorize, just wdyl.com
(as in What Do You Love)

*UPDATE: If this does not work for you, try it again tomorrow. I’m getting reports that the host name is broken for external DNS? Personally I’m using Google DNS which is 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 for the primary/secondary DNS addresses.

This is tying together the following services:
Google product icons

  • Google Translate
  • Google Trends
  • Google Books
  • Google SketchUp
  • Google YouTube
  • Google ImageSearch
  • Google Alerts
  • Google Maps
  • Google PatentSearch
  • Google Moderator
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Gmail
  • Google Voice
  • Google Groups
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Earth
  • Google News
  • Google Blogger
  • Google Mobile
  • And more products as they are released..

What do *I* love? Google! (It’s not a very interesting result when you put ‘Google’ into the WDYL tool, oddly enough?)

Just typing in random words can be fun, interesting, and even educational. I have to admit that as much of a ‘fanboi’ as I am with Google, there’s a few services I haven’t explored enough and this one site bridges that gap for me. From an SEO stand-point, there’s really no harm in trying your keywords in this new tool to see what comes from it. Worst case you may find some new avenues to look into for your business and on-line rankings?

Oh and for something just a bit different, on the topic of new stuff from Google, OK Go and Philbus have whipped up a treat. For users of Chromium browsers (including Google’s Chrome (yes they are slightly different)) this latest ‘Chrome Experiment’ can be a lot of fun, if a bit excessive for the purpose.

I should mention it’s showing off Chromium’s multi-threading, so if you have a slow machine or don’t have multiple cores in your CPU, you may want to skip this?
All is not lost – Chrome Experiment

SEO news blog post by @ 11:51 am on July 28, 2011


 

Google gets approval for self-driving cars in Nevada

Earlier in the month I wrote this post on self-driving cars from Google:

Google goes Jetsons

… in that post I was discussing how difficult it is to test the cars properly as state laws forbid the practice in it’s current format.

Yesterday, June 22nd, the ruling was passed as state law and Google has made a large step forward for DOT approval of driver-less cars.

Nevada’s ruling now gives Google (and other smaller companies) a chance at accessing a real-world test area for the vehicles and should be a great perk for the “silver state” that now draws a great deal of revenue from visitors.

Hopefully things go much smoother for Nevada, as similar efforts were made in Japan, and nothing but promises have materialized after several years.
(*This is just a quick update, click into the original story for more details)

SEO news blog post by @ 8:30 pm on June 23, 2011


 

Windows 8 – First public showing

Yesterday was an exciting day for more than just hockey fans (Go Canucks!). Wednesday was Microsoft’s first public showing of the new Windows 8 user interface.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Microsoft isn’t kidding when they admit to having some strong influences from the mobile phone market!

Moving towards web technologies and taking a page from the ‘Google Gears’ handbook, Microsoft is saying that Windows 8 is geared towards 2 unique application types. The first being the traditional compiled windows application including games and software you currently run on windows. The second would be more of a full screen HTML5 + Javascript full screen application.

Google made great success out of exploring what a browser can do without an internet connection when they built the Chromebook and Microsoft clearly wasn’t ignoring this development. Beyond the usual stock tracking widgets and weather displays that could be running from an internet connected browser, this will extend to innovative applications like the customizable touch Piano application that was demonstrated.

Hardware in general seems to be an interesting focus of Windows8

  • Internet Explorer 10 is built into Window 8 and it will be very touch friendly, allowing the OS to run on a tablet or make full use of a PC with a touch screen.
  • Microsoft has stated the OS will be compatible with ARM processors and NVidia hardware. There should be a showing of that later today.
  • Windows 8 continues the tradition of Windows 7 where dependance on improved hardware is not a given. Indeed the way forward seems to be extracting more from the current hardware vs. demanding more under the hood for each new feature.

Our next public blurb from Microsoft on the Windows 8 front is due in September during a developer conference in California.

 

Dave’s Footnote:

While this post focuses on Windows 8, Dave believes that the author may have glossed over the truly important point (tsk tsk Ryan) which is captured in the following video:

SEO news blog post by @ 6:24 pm on June 2, 2011


 

Google goes Jetsons

Google goes jetsons
Locals commuting in San Francisco and Los Angeles have probably already seen Google testing autonomous cars. The highly modified Toyota Prius that Google has been using wouldn’t go un-noticed and there are several in testing.

In 2010 Google logged over 140,000 miles of autonomous driving with passengers in the car to assist as little as possible. One leg of the trip had over 1,000 miles of un-assisted driving done by the computer.. ‘look ma, no hands!’ During all of that road testing the sum total of accidents was 1, which was a human driver rear-ending the Google car stopped at a red light.

With sensors all over the car, and 360 degree vision coming from a roof mounted camera, the is little shock that the autonomous car is less distracted, sleepy, intoxicated, or momentarily removed from the driving process by bees flying in the window or a poorly timed sneeze. The cars take shorter routes, automatically avoiding traffic congestion, construction, and other hurdles that humans may get stuck in.

Google autonomous car

Then you get to safety and looking at the staggering figures for accidents and deaths related to car collisions each year: the reader doesn’t need to see how this would be a huge change to our lives! Thinking further ahead, if we can eliminate accidents on the road then cars could be built much lighter, with less expense, and fuel savings (even electrical) would be drastic.

According to the New York Times, Google has hired a Las Vegas-based lobbyist to promote two measures: one is an amendment to an electric-vehicle bill that provides licensing and testing of autonomous vehicles; the other is an exemption from a ban on text messaging while driving.

“It almost seems comical to put the two measures together; Like when you need extra income so you approach the boss with a story that leads them to think you got their daughter pregnant and ends with a small ‘easy to handle’ request for a raise.”

In actual fact it seems more in-line with typical Google wisdom to lobby Nevada first. When you think of the long list of things that an autonomous car would provide, the most compelling features appeal the most to Vegas:

- Autonomous taxis cabs (picture the strip without the litter of taxi cabs)
- Autonomous delivery vehicles
- Fantasy thrill of first city on the planet with licensed autonomous vehicles

If Nevada moved forward with the proposal then Google’s footprint in Vegas would grow considerably along with their economic investment which would be huge. Cheap housing in the state would certainly be welcome to Google employees and families.

The measures Google is lobbying for are due to come up before the legislative session comes to a close in June, so we’re winding up to a landmark decision really soon!

SEO news blog post by @ 8:06 pm on May 31, 2011


 

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