Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Message to Google, Please Fix Gmail (iGoogle version)

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Two months ago Google rolled out its new version of iGoogle. Some interesting new features. And a few well hated changes. And I do mean HATED. I wrote a pretty popular post about those changes and the dreaded left tabs. So far that post has received 100 comments from others complaining. And the suck still persists :(

I have a fair sized monitor so I can live with the piss poor tabs on the side (c’mon Google, it really is not hard to put them back up top. Just a lil bit of CSS code). But what continues to annoy me, aggravate me, even piss me off, to the point of yelling very fine expletives at my computer, are the problems with Gmail. The iGoogle version of Gmail.


In 2009, Resolve to Protect Your Digital Assets

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

I just finished reading Matt McGee’s post titled In 2009, Resolve to Own Your Digital Assets. Like that title? Note the similarity to mine? Well, his post got me to thinking about the doom and gloom recession we are in, and still to get deeper into, and what that may mean for website owners who do own their digital assets.

This recession is not simply about GM being a bloated dinosaur of a company long due for a complete overhaul, or sub-prime mortgages bringing real estate values back down to the long term mean, or even big banks in need of massive bailout packages. None of those are causes, they are merely symptoms of the bigger bubble that is bursting. The credit bubble. But I digress a bit, but only a bit, you’ll see.

So on to protecting your digital assets. Like Matt said, you should own your own domain name and not be using free hosting services. Domain names are cheap, only $10 per year. And for most small local businesses web hosting is cheap too. In the range of $5 to $30 per month.


What Happens if Your Web Host or Domain Registrar Goes Bankrupt?

Some of the faster growing domain registrars and web hosing companies did not get that big that fast on organic growth. They did it on credit. Some of whom may rely on lines of credit to operate their massive data centers. Here is where some risk lies in today’s current credit crunch environment. As this recession goes deeper we may hear of some web hosting companies and/or domain registrars going bankrupt.

According to Google Insights, both ‘web hosting’ and ‘ domain name’ as search keywords show a steady decline for the past 4 years. Just last month Lycos Europe reported it is liquidating portions of it’s business, including it’s web hosting arm, in response to a 20% decline in revenues.

If you have both your domain and hosting at the same place you could be screwed for quite some time. Loosing traffic, search rankings, and trust with the search engines. Ouch!

If a web host goes under you can possibly loose all your data (page files and databases). Obviously you should have backups of your data on your home or office machine, not on the server. If your domain was registered with a separate company you could move hosts in a matter of hours, or at most 24 hours, if you really had to. Just set up the new hosting account, upload your data, and reset your DNS ( domain name server) settings to point the domain to its new host.

When a domain registrar goes out of business the domains under their control may eventually get handed over to another accredited registrar. At least that’s the theory. In the case of being striped of its accreditation due to fraud there was a lot of confusion and it took some time before a big chunk of the 2 million domains under their control were transferred to GoDaddy. Some people did loose domains though.

Domain registrars are required to carry $70,000 in liquid cash as well as comply to various standards set out by ICANN. So the risk of one going under is likely a lot lower than a hosting company. But, if a registrar were to go bust your domain will, for the the meantime, continue to point your traffic to the hosting server as your DNS settings remain intact until the domain gets transferred to another registrar.

Diversity is the keyword here. Spread the risk around between your host and registrar. Just in case.

New iGoogle with Left Nav Bar is the SUCK!

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

One year and one month after first publishing this post there is a new rash of complaints about iGoogle tabs on top vs. tabs on left. Previous methods of reverting to the old style of iGoogle by setting it to a different country version is no longer working. Seems everyone now gets the US version.

But there is a new cure to Google’s tab disease! Posted in the comments of this post was reference to a Firefox plugin that will remove those left hand tabs and place them back on top. Yay!!!!

If you’re not using FireFox as your web browser you’re shit out of luck. If your using Internet Exploder as your web browser you should give your head a shake. Join the rest of the cool kids and switch to FF.

Amazing how much I instantly hated this when it changed on me today. It’s really really bad. I liked having my tabs up top. Now on the side they eat up realestate on my well used (read full) iGoogle pages.

Left tabs on iGoogle interface is bad bad idea

Apparently Google rolled this new interface out and tested it on select iGoogle accounts a few months back. Did those testers happen to like it and give Goog the thumbs up? Are they, were they, on crack?


Working Remotely is Hard

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Being that I work from the internet I can, in theory, work from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. And in testing that out right now I’m noticing some severe limitations. But it’s still good, just a lot to adapt too.

And I need a better laptop next time.

Distractions, Distractions

So I’m on a working vacation, so to speak, visiting family on the east coast. Lots of people want to spend some time with me, many of which are on their summer vacations and assume my working vacation is more vacation than work. On top of that there is lots I want to do to while I’m here and work takes a bit of a back seat at times.

This is my view from my “temporary office”;

I’d rather be sailing than working (more…)

Missed Opportunities for Beijing Olympic Broadcasters - It’s the Internet Stupid

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

In my previous post I ranted a bit about how YouTube was removing videos of the 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremonies. I still think its rather silly and a massive mistake on the part of the broadcast networks that are licensed to cover the Olympics.

The websites of NBC, CBC and the BBC, the networks providing Olympic content to the US, Canada and the UK, still have minimal footage of the Opening ceremonies online. I think this is a foolish mistake and a huge disservice to their paying advertisers. Why? They are not feeding the demand.

The Unsatisfied Demand for Opening Ceremony Video

This particular Olympic games are quite important/significant simply because they are being held in China. So what does China do? Put on the most spectacular/breathtaking opening ceremonies of all time. And we all want to see it, online. And see it again.

It was estimated that 1 Billion people watch the opening ceremony live on television. So there are 5 Billion who did not. How many of them now want to see the opening show? How many of the 1 Billion that did see would like to see it again?

To get a sense for the demand out there we can see how people are searching for the Beijing Games opening ceremonies on the internet. Here is what Google trends tells us;

Search demand for opening ceremony content