Lock Down your Data! - Sheesh, this is so dumb...

On this system i have a rudimentory referer list that keeps a track of incomings over the last few hours. It's pretty neat to see if suddenly a lot of people are talking about something on TW in a forum for example.

I just clicked an odd looking one that went to someones "start page" - Here's what i found:

ALL his affiliate sites A link to CJ complete with password in the url - direct access to his earnings. Shit loads of other passwords and logins Links to other family member "start pages" that had the same kind of stuff!

So, after having a nose around (well why not? im only human after all...) I left a note on his "todo list" telling him to lock his and his families pages down NOW...

Crikey, how could you leave data like that open for just anyone to go look at? An unscrupulous individual could have a ball with that kind of information...

After 3 months - Google updates PR

Thread Title: After 3 months - Google updates PR Thread Url: http://www.seo-scoop.com/direct_link.cfm?thepost=231 Thread Description:

DazzlingDonna points out google's PageRank and BackLink update incipience, shown on 66.102.11.99 and 66.102.11.104 datacenters.

PR and Backlink Update Starts New Year Off With Bang Google has begun its PR and Backlink update - just in time for the New Year! Since it is still propagating across the datacenters, the best place to check your upcoming PR is at www.seochat.com/seo-tools/future-pagerank. Currently, the new PageRank is being shown on 66.102.11.99 and 66.102.11.104. Just run the link: command from one of those datacenters to see your updated backlinks. Happy New Year!

Geo-Tracking Mobile Users becomes a Linux-Based Reality

Thread Title: IITians Develop Linux-Based Cell Phone Tracking Software Thread Url: http://www.cxotoday.com/cxo/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=2538&cat_id=911 Thread Description:

Mobiance have developed a system that can track the location of mobile users by SMS - The user gets asked if they want to grant permission for their location to be given to the asker and if so, the asker has a 10-100meter accurate fix on location.

From the CXOToday article threadlinked above:

The tracked mobile user has three options and may give permission for one-time usage or unlimited access. Though the third option allows the tracked mobile user to deny access it will not be a permanent one. The same service can also be accessed through the Internet.

Apart from parents who want to track the movements of their children, the software also helps corporates to track their on-field employees.

Link via pondering primate

The GigaBlast Site Search - Anyone Tried it?

So i've been hearing a lot about the Gigablast site search since they launched it and just spotted a post by a recent aquaintance of mine, David Tebbutt, who has installed it on his site with the purpose of searching all his sites.

I tried a couple of queries and was not so impressed when one I was certain wouldn't return much actually returned plenty. Plenty of crap results but when i searched for his product, Brainstorm it seemed very good.

Has anyone tried it, and if so, what do you think?

Tsunami of Spam

Thread Title: Tsunami of Spam Thread Url: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=20464 Thread Description:

I didn't think that people could sink any lower, not after Dougie and glengara's mutual wank fest over the current challenges faced by WebAtlas, I was wrong.

It seems that already spam emails are being sent asking people to make "donations", as Mr Mackin would say sick and wrong.

"So far, we've seen two different examples of these, designed to capitalise on the misery of hundreds of thousands of people affected by the tsunami that swept the coasts of the Indian Ocean early this week."

Happy New Year folks.

Just a quick "Best Wishes" to all from Woz in Oz. Hope 2005 is better than you could ever hope for.

Onya Woz

Google Under Fire for Open Source Greed

Thread Title: Google - we take it all, give nothing back Thread Url: http://blog.kowalczyk.info/archives/2004/12/29/google-we-take-it-all-give-nothing-back/ Thread Description:

Googles Adam Bosworth takes an almightly slap from Krzysztof Kowalczyk and then whilst realing from the blow takes a kick in the nuts from Microsofts Dare Obasanjo as noted in this post at InsideGoogle.

The attacks center around a plea Adam made to the Open Source Community for improvements to relational database projects - the point being that Google take a lot from Open Source and give nothing back in return.

From the original post by Adam:

My message is to the Open Source community that has, so ably, built LAMP (Linux, Apache and Tomcat and MySQL and PHP and PERL and Python). Please finish the job. Do for databases what you did for web servers. Give us dynamism and robustness. Give us systems that scale linearly, are flexible and dynamically reconfigurable and load balanced and easy to use.

From Krzysztofs post:

Let’s estimate how much money did Google save by using open source software that they would otherwise have to purchase. The operating system for tens of thousands of their computers. Web servers they use. All the Unix utilities they use. Editors, compilers and debuggers they use to write their code. E-mail smtp server. E-mail pop servers. Languages like Perl and Python. Databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL. It’s safe to say that if Richard Stallman was never born, the licenses for those kinds of software would cost them tens of millions of dollars.

And what does Google contribute back? Where are their patches to gcc, gdb, python, postgresql, sendmail, emacs?

and from Dare's post:

I doubt that this is the kind of response that Adam Bosworth was expecting when he posted his plea. The fun thing about corporate blogs is that it gives people more places to read between the lines and learn how a company really thinks. I suspect this is why Google doesn't have many authentic bloggers and instead has favored the press release page masquerading as group blog approach at http://www.google.com/googleblog/

Coping with Information Overload

Thread Title: Life Interrupted Thread Url: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/pacificnw/2004/1128/cover.html Thread Description:

The typical Threadwatch reader probably fits the description of a PC based multitasker given in the threadlinked Seattle Times article above very well. We have constant interruption during our working hours and for some (most..?) during our playtime aswell.

Email IM RSS notifications Cell phones Land lines and all manner of derivatives

The article points out that it's been shown that although multi-tasking is encouraged and expected, it's often counter-productive and sometimes harmful:

We're shooting through technological rapids that have opened doors and changed the dynamic of work, how we communicate and live, and sometimes even think. All these tools have made our lives easier in many ways. But they're also stirring deep unease. Some are concerned that the need for speed is shrinking our attention spans, prompting our search for answers to take the mile-wide-but-inch-deep route and settling us into a rhythm of constant interruption in which deadlines are relentless and tasks are never quite finished.

Scientists call this phenomenon "cognitive overload," and say it encompasses the modern-day angst of stress, multitasking, distraction and data flurries.

In fact, multitasking — a computing term that involves doing, or trying to do, more than one thing at once — has cemented itself into our daily lives and is intensely studied. Research has shown it to be consistently counterproductive, often foolish, unhealthy in the long run, and in the case of gabbing on the cell phone while driving, relatively dangerous. Yet it is also expected, encouraged and basically essential.

For me, im still bearing up under the strain, and loving every moment. Im wired in so many ways to so many news sources and communication mediums that when i think about it hard, it really is quite insane. However, im still enjoying it though the point the article makes about my information intake being a mile wide but inch deep is well taken.

Rumour: M$ Release Blitz set for 2005

Thread Title: Microsoft readies burst of 2005 products Thread Url: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=20421 Thread Description:

Speculation is growing that we may be set for a Microsoft product release blitz in 2005 - Including:

Antivirus Antispyware Voip and Longhorn client/server

Would make sense to tie in the new search tech with a media frenzy in progress about just about everything else M$...

Google Testing Images in Main Search Listings?

Thread Title: Google Test Images Within Google Web Search Thread Url: http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/001335.html Thread Description: If the screenshot is to be beleived then it looks like Google are testing the promotion of Google Image Search in their main listings. In the threadlink above, Barry Schwartz points to this thread by classione and this screenshot:

Now, is it just me or would that be just a tad annoying were it to become standard fayre at Google?

There would also be the enormous potential for innapropriate images being shown to minors and those of a more sensitive nature...

The Future of 3G Mobile Broadband - What's in Store?

Thread Title: 3G: Where Will It Be a Year from Now? Thread Url: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1743415,00.asp?kc=EWRSS04069TX1K0000701 Thread Description:

Guy Kewney takes a technical look at why 3G wireless broadband may well prove unsuitable in 2005 and how wireless broadband solutions from IP Wireless and Flarion may be able to step in and fill the gap.

It's probably time to admit it: 3G wireless is like satellite. It will never be economical as a broadband solution.

Five years is a long time to wait and now that 3G wireless is here, you'd think we'd be grateful. Not a chance of that! We want its successor on schedule, please.

The concept of 3G phone networks was originally seen as a 2001 technology. Then, after four or five years, we were supposed to start using advanced data extensions to 3G.

Something to Keep an Eye On: Video blogging - Beware the Vlog

Thread Title: Online Video: The Sequel Thread Url: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2004/nf20041229_6207_db016.htm Thread Description:

With Broadband enjoying high penetration and the blogging craze in full swing you've most likely at least heard the term video blog right? Well, BusinessWeek have picked up on it and it's certainly gaining a little momentum so it might be time to start filing it under "things to keep an eye on".

But amid the chaos, glimpses of a commercial future are starting to emerge, including a revival of online video distribution, using vlogs to sell ads, and corporate sites designed to reach out to customers and suppliers. "Text doesn't get across all I want to communicate," says Lenn Pryor, who runs Channel 9, a vlog that Microsoft (MSFT ) set up in April to communicate more effectively with software developers.

What terrifies me most about this is not the fact that aswell as general text publishing, in the form of blogs, we now have amateur video coming our way, but the fact that some hitherto thought of as sensible people are dubbing the new format Vlogs.

What madness is this? Vlog, Vlogs, Vlogging - holy shit! It sounds dirty doesnt it? "Stop that junior! If you keep vlogging, you'll go blind!" - give me a bloody break!

SMA-NA - Search Marketing Association North America to Launch

SEW moderator mcanerin will probably want my balls on a plate for posting this but it's okay, im feeling tough today heh...

Hot(ish) on the heels of SMA-UK and SMA-EU comes SMA-NA.

The initial presidency will be filled by the aforementioned Ian McAnerin who is currently recruiting from the pools of Search Marketing Fora mods and admins.

Im not certain that's a good way to go, but as DUMPO have continously failed the industry and show no signs of change I'll not slate it for the time being heh...

SMA-NA will intitially cover Search Marketers located in US, Canada, Mexico.

Among interested parties so far are Christine Churchill who recently resigned from SEMPO and was one of the founding members. The new org is also getting heavy-weight support from the UK side in the shape of Mike Grehan and others.

Stay tuned for more.

Orb Networks - Stream ALL your Media to your Mobile

Thread Title: www.orb.com Thread Url: http://www.orb.com/ Thread Description:

Here's a neat app that could turn the fledgling mobile content business on it's head overnight. Here's the short version:

Any media, including live TV can be streamed from your home, through your pc, to your mobile. It's your media, you have access to it, you are allowed to watch it! - Now, with a few "requirements" you can stream that media direct to your mobile or PDA wherever you happen to be.

Sounds neat eh?

Michael Gartenburg posted monday and tuesday about this and Engadget posted a podcast that gives some detail also.

From Michaels first post:

Orb promises to turn your PC, PDA and Smartphone into a mobile entertainment portal. Promising to deliver your music, pictures, video and live TV, Orb delivers quite well. The service is currently in beta and currently needs Windows Media Center (04 or 05) and a broadband connection. Remote clients include all MS Smartphones, PocketPC Phones, most connected pocket PCs and Symbian Series 60 and 70 phones. In short if it has a web browser and either REAL player or Windows Media it will work.

and some added information in his second post:

Actually it's a pretty killer app in general. I spent some more time using it and the more I use it, the more I like it. So far it, worked on everything I threw at it, from Smartphones to a Macintosh running OS X. Palm support seems lacking though. On each device, all my media was there for me, ready and waiting. Driving to the mall, I set up a playlist of podcasts from my PC and let it play over the Audiovox SMT-5600, through the stereo. Not a glitch. It just played through, like it was supposed to. Sound quality was lower than I'd like so I'm not replacing my iPod just yet.

An Epic Vision of Media in 2014

Thread Title: Epic 2014 Thread Url: http://www.broom.org/epic/ Thread Description:

Threadlinked above is an 8min flash presentation on the future of media. The Museum of Media History takes us from the present, when citizen journalism, blogging, TiVo and social networking have taken firm hold, to a halfway realistic furture where the "Evolving Personalized Information Construct" is born.

EPIC, as it would be known involoves the merger of Google and Amazon to form Googlezon, the death of the NYT and the personalization of every conceivable aspect of media and product consumption.

It's an awesome vision, and well worth the 8mins it takes to watch.

link via cnet

Open Source Audio - John Udell's First Podcast Examined

Thread Title: open source audio Thread Url: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2004/12/27.html#a1140 Thread Description:

A complete run down on how John Udell made his first podcast, including the podcast of course - This post, threadlinked above has some lovely links to Archive.orgs open source audio offerings and details that untill now, i was completely ignorant of. Thanks John!

Santa must have got my list this year, i have a mic! now all i have to do is get it running under Gentoo and go find all the cool links Brad gave me for doing podcasts on Linux - How scary is that? Nick and mic - heaven help us all...

RSS Abuse - or - More of the Same for Most of us...

Thread Title: RSS Abuse: What’s fair use and what’s abuse. (or Skweezer gets it wrong). Thread Url: http://calacanis.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000450025233/ Thread Description:

Seems like blogging star Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc is getting a taste of the old "they copied my website!" routine. It appears that RSS is paving the way:

It’s one thing to take an excerpt—like the good folks at Google, Topix.net, Feedster or Technorati do—to help people navigate.

It’s a whole other thing to take your entire feed, wrap your own ads around it, and try to sell a service on top of the content!

Jason, this is quite common, trust me.

RSS does make it ever so easy to do though. I've not put any kind of license on Threadwatch's own feed as of yet and am in two minds as to what, if any kind of license to give it. I really dont mind people posting my (our) entire posts on their websites but if anyone tried to pass it off as their own doing and make $$$'s from it I'd be a bit narked...

Search Engines Battle with Agencies for Client Cash - Business or War?

Thread Title: A scandal surfaces in the world of search marketing: Publishers are not our friends. Thread Url: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/4839.asp Thread Description: "Soul-less Cash Mongers who couldn't Care Less About You"

Kevin Ryan posted an interesting article threadlinked above over at imediaconnection about the business of search publishing and the relationship between publisher, agency and advertiser. And more specifically, how engine reps have been trying to bypass agencies in a bid to deal with the client directly.

Getting the point that Search is a business and not a public commons to some thickheaded marketers is tough but maybe some of Kevin's war stories will enlighten the rose tinted spectacle wearing brigade.

For the most part, search engines are public entities. Despite the pretty façade and love-in style introductions, they are soul-less cash mongers who couldn’t care less about you.

I remember going to a search party the last time AD:TECH was held in Los Angeles (frankly, there were no other parties). While boozing it up, my rep enjoyed telling me how much fun it was to go out and sign up my client’s biggest competitor to drive up bid costs.

Now that’s nice, isn’t it? True story folks, I am not making this up.

The argument from the search engines is very simple and effective. “Agencies don’t understand search and specialized SEM shops don’t carry enough weight to be effective in the marketing world,” one search provider told me on condition of anonymity. “If we can’t get a direct introduction, we’ll try to get the agency to get us in so we can then move around them.”

Danny Sullivan posted on the article also. He says:

I also see the search engines -- the publishers as Kevin rightly calls them -- fighting the wrong battle if they think they can replace what agencies provide. The search publishers know their own publications, but it is extremely rare for an advertiser to want to be on only one network. People want both Google and Yahoo/Overture, to have as much reach as possible.

Get Linux on your iPod

Thread Title: Review of Linux on the iPod Thread Url: http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/linux_on_ipod/Linux_on_ipod_review.html Thread Description:

Now that, is a serious step forward for the whole pod scene i think...

I am happy to announce that iPodLinux has become much more than an interesting little proof-of-concept. It is now the de facto way to expand the iPod's capabilities and features. It is far from perfect, but quite far from useless.

WordPress Release Forum Software - bbPress.org

Thread Title: bbPress.org Thread Url: http://bbpress.org Thread Description:

The makers of WordPress blogging software now have bbPress - a 'light' forum software app.

bbPress is forum software with a twist. bbPress is focused on web standards, ease of use, ease of integration, and speed. Most software in this space is focused on features like avatars or file attachment and if that's what you're interested in, bbPress probably isn't for you. We're focused on keeping things as small and light as possible for the explicit purpose of creating a community around support.

I do like the bit about no avatars i must say. How it would hold up under the strain of critical mass remains to be seen and i've not done much more than read the homepage and take a look at it's showcase implementation - which leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department but as bbPress is focused on web standards is most likely very simple to prettify.