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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 12, 2012

The Wi-Fi Microwave Renaissance

For financial services firms, the ability to get a piece of competitive financial data a few milliseconds before you competition is worth the cost of securing a fast internet connection. Despite being in use for over half a century, the once stagnant microwave communications industry is seeing a renaissance recently.
steampunk internet

Since July 2012, Quincy Data has been broadcasting as a microwave provider between New York and Chicago, providing financial sectors with a competitive edge. When Quincy Data applied for their licensing with the FCC in 2010, there was only one other company that had submitted a similar request; now there are dozens of other carriers waiting in the wings, eager to have their requests ratified.

Microwave technology uses point-to-point networks and have been used for decades by the military and broadcast television stations. Microwave transmissions operate in the 1 to 30 GHz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although they do need a line of site between transmission points, signals can be repeated along the way and can travel up to 300 kilometers.

microwave transmission diagram

More recently, the push has been towards fiber optics connections, which have the ability to offer greater bandwidth. Current limitations of microwave transmissions can only offer 150Mbps, but developers are currently developing gigabit microwave technologies.

Fiber optics carry data on light waves passing through glass tubes and are therefore constrained to the maximum speed of the medium through which it passes. Light travels at a scant 200,000 km per second compared to an electromagnetic wave that can travel at 300,000km per second in a vacuum.

The other distinct advantage of microwave technology is that the transmission distances tend to be much shorter than that of fiber optics, since it is much easy to transmit in a direct path between two points rather than snaking fiber optic cabling through existing infrastructure to obtain an optimal path.

Performance is still a big factor into the adoption of microwave technologies en masse. Rain can affect performance, as well as low-lying clouds and various forms of interference. This is becoming more problematic today with so many wireless communications bombarding our cities. Once latency times have been reduced, microwave vendors will sell their service based upon the robustness of their networks.

My Two Cents:

Sample PLN Network
A better application of microwave technology would be to broadcast into remote rural areas in order to provide free access to the internet. Internet access has been deemed to be a basic human right according to the UN.

Similar initiatives have been introduced in Canada in the past with the Provincial Learning Network (PLN) in an attempt to bring internet access to remote schools. However, the cost of developing modern wireless infrastructures into remote areas is far too prohibitive.

Many communities still have entrenched infrastructures that would support microwave communications proving that this is not only a feasible strategy, but that it is also a cost effective means to provide free Internet access to all.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:33 am

Categories:IT Industry,Technology

 

 

December 11, 2012

Thinking of making an ‘App’ for the Apple Store?

You may want to re-think that decision, perhaps even focus on a ‘mobile’ provider for your site, or an Android app instead of one for Apple’s store.

Rotten Apple with bite mark

Why? Well lets list the reasons:

- Android OS is shipping on more phones currently than any other mobile OS
- 2013 should be the year that Android overtakes iPhone in subscriber #s
- A mobile ‘face lift’ should load on any phone/browser
- Apple is cracking down on all ‘Apps’ that generate revenue outside their store..

The last one is a real kicker, especially for Microsoft who is currently unable to update their SkyDrive app after Apple realized it was handling in-app purchases without going through the Apple Store.

Essentially Apple is rejecting all Microsoft app updates and 3rd party apps that communicate with SkyDrive until Microsoft has a solution to Apple’s need for a 30% cut of all transactions done through it’s App Store.

So if you made an Apple Store ‘App’ for your site, all you can do with the ‘App’ is browse information and provide free resources, since any attempt to engage in a financial transaction would require the Apple App Store to participate, at a 30% margin.

That’s just.. wait for it.. rotten.

Making Easy Money by Ignoring Copyright Infringement

A North Korean Won with Park Jae-sang's face.

On the surface, it may seem counter-intuitive to your profit margin, but not letting people steal your content could be what’s stopping you from getting rich.

PSY, the chubby Korean behind the most popular YouTube video to-date, is raking in the profits from his ‘Gangnam Style’ video, and it’s all because he didn’t censor his own work by chasing copyright violations.

If you look at TV commercials, ad revenue, product endorsements, and other direct revenue from his popularity, PSY is making over $8 Million in 2012 alone.

Clearly there’s a trade off between copyrights and profits that doesn’t favor always locking down your content.

I’m wondering though, once fame has taken hold, if next year we’ll have a story about PSY suing people for copyright infringements?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:59 pm


 

 

December 10, 2012

Windows 8 – Worst Christmas Present Evar

Wondering what to get your friend’s or loved ones for Christmas? You and me both….but what would you give to your enemies? According to Phillip Greenspun’s Weblog, Windows 8.

Windows 8 screenshot

Windows 8 Apps

Eminent MIT professor Phillip Greenspun has written a particularly scathing review of the new OS and points out some of it major failings. Greenspun opened his rant with the statement that Microsoft had four years to study Android and more than five to study iOS in order to develop a useful product, but was still unable to deliver a useful tablet experience.

"Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad and an expert user of an Android phone… you will have no idea how to use Windows 8," Greenspun wrote.

• Lack of a permanent on-screen back button and Home button. Neither is present on the Windows 8 Tablet screen. The closest thing to a HOME button on Windows 8 is the “Windows” key on a keyboard (which is redundant as a keyboard is not always available or required)
• No context sensitive menu system. The new OS lacks this interface standard.
• Microsoft has attempted to offer support for a standard mouse & windows desktop in a very inconvenient manner. It does not allow for multi tasking traditional application alongside of the tablet interface. It is either the old Windows XP desktop or the new Android-like tablet environment.
• You cannot bypass this by sticking to one interface or the other; some functions such as “start an application” or the “Restart the computer” functions are only available from the tablet interface.
• In the tablet application, an additional click will open a web browser, causing the tablet screen to disappear and take you to the desktop.
• Many apps that appear on the “All Apps” menu at the bottom of the screen (which is only accessible if you swipe from the top of your screen) will dump you right back to you the desktop on first click.
• You cannot use a web browser and the tablet interface at the same time. You need to go to your desktop to use the browser but then cannot see the tablet interface.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:25 am

Categories:Technology

 

 

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 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 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


 

 

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