Lots and lots of the people I normally get all with trying out a new web feature have had emails to Google+ and are having fin getting it working.

I haven't had an invite yet.

It looks cool. Nothing groundbreaking, but some substantially well through through UI tweaks to existing ideas (Dreamwidth users are probably pointing at the "Circles" idea and going "ours" quite a bit, whereas G+ is laughing at the management interface...)

So, y'know, if anyone has a spare invite kicking around ;-)

ETA: I know have an account, and it is good-never actually received an invite, I just got in via a link, weird.
Mat Bowles - Google+
The first is just utterly off the wall weird. The Secret Origins of Clippy tells us how MS patented all those bloody talking paperclips. Most scary:
Read the whole patent, and you’ll see that Microsoft put immense effort into the technical logistics of implementing Clippy. He wasn’t the spawn of a moment of temporary insanity; he was the result of a vast amount of cold, calculating effort.
I know that there were some that really liked the damn thing (when I was in the office for my first post-graduation job, one of the senior accountants proudly showed me how to change the appearance from the paperclip to a different cartoon), but for the most part? No, just no.

Second story is a lot more scary. What happens when your webhost pulls the plug? I'm fortunate that LiveJournal has an easy backup/archiving system that is interoperable, I know that I can transfer all my contents for the last 41/2 years to a Wordpress or similar install, as long as I have a recent backup. What happens if LJ goes down, permanently, when my most recent is old? Got a Wordpress install? How often do you backup? Using the .com? Got a backup?

If you're using something like Blogger, you're probably fairly secure, Google is, after all, massive. But it's reliant on advertising revenues. Such revenues go down during economic difficulties. What happens if they can't afford to keep their free service going? Do you have a backup?

AOL remain one of the biggest online brands. They just shut down Hometown and did very little to let existing users know, and from what I've seen there was no easy export tool.

How secure is your website? How much of the effort you've put into it do you want to keep? Back up people.
So, my web host package for TaKtiX expires on Tuesday, so given I'm barely using it I'm backing it all up to prepare to move it all to a cheaper server.

While downloading the entire HTML content I found that the server stats programme provided by my host backs up the stats page monthly. This I knew not. Oops. So I read them through, and realise that I've been misreading them a bit. I thought they were cumulative in that programme, but they're not. Most read are the various feeds the site releases. After that are the graphics I use here on my journal. Next up? Well, this surprised me, so I dug out the old Statcounter account.

For the non-Voting parts of the site, there are about 700 visitors per month. Thing is? Half of them go to one page. Mr [livejournal.com profile] mapp? Your old review of the Tau Codex gets about 350 readers a month. Still. Virtually all from Google.

Shame I don't play Warhammer based stuff anymore, appears there's some decent ad revenue to be made reviewing the books if a two year old review can still get that many readers...
Official Google Blog: Yahoo! and the future of the Internet:
Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC?
Interesting times it seems. Can that be read as anything other than "gloves off, come on then"?
So then, Google and [livejournal.com profile] brad have finally launched their social graph API. Simple version: Your friends list on LJ, Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook etc are public information. So if this takes off (and it will) you'll be able to log into one and find out if your friends from one are on the other. If the information is private, then you'll need permission, but if it's open info then I don't need to ask you gits to find me on Twitter or Bebo (MatGB, natch), I can get the site I just registered for to go see who I know, just like I can currently get them to check my Gmail addressbook. Which will be nice. If it works. It should do. Meh, Brad explains it in all his geekiness if you want:
Brad's product launch vid, in all his geeky glory )
There's an example of the code for those that want it on David Recordon's Blog, including a nice little in-joke.

LJ's new overlords are proceding apace with dragging Livejournal into the 21st century. It aggregates interesting public posts, yes, you can opt out if you want to (how it works for communities) but why would you want to? If you don't want people to see it, don't post it publicly. While it probably won't be of much use to established users, it will really help new users, which the site needs to survive, SUP spent money because they thought they could turn the site around and make it work. Features that draw new users in and help them get set up easily are needed--every other similar site has had this for years.

Last up, [livejournal.com profile] davegodfrey brings the science funny. SRSLY, go read and if time listen, watching a Discovery institute loony get schooled is always worth it, right?
That places where I've lived meme. Better plan.

Not a bad little tool that, updated it now, hadn't touched it since [livejournal.com profile] susumu linked to it, oh, 6 months ago?
Substantially mixed bag this lot, some clearouts, most new from today. Let's start with the best shadow art I've ever seen, so very cool.

Now onto some Google Külness. Google Mars. It's like Google Maps, but on Mars! Really does bring into relief what KSTR meant when he talked about the great northern sea. After that, How to Make Gmail/Gcal Rock; I especially like the open a compose window in the sidebar bookmarklet, very handy.

Things that make you proud to be British that you'll miss when overseas. Note to the colonials, inhabitants of rebel provinces and other types reading this; yes, we really are that weird.

[livejournal.com profile] autopope fanboying (again). Charlie has 15 minutes of fame (and a few more years to follow) with an article on the BBC technology website about the future of history and how we're only just leaving the Dark Ages. Follow up interview on BBC Radio Wales on the Adam Walton show, about half an hour in, it'll be on Listen again for the next 7 days from at some point later this evening, I caught all but the first minute or so.

Hmm, still lots of Doctor Who wank throughout fandom, so instead I bring you The Empty Goth, and a useful translation phrasebook for any Doctor Who forum (or in fact pretty much any BB ever, as I rarely go to Who forums and I recognise 9/10s of the idiocies). That last was via pretty much everyone already, but you never know. What do you mean what wank? [livejournal.com profile] judge_death has the full story. Sort of.

Last up, the Origins Awards, including a win for [livejournal.com profile] jonhodgson and Deadlands: Reloaded, which makes them double plus good. Which means I have to use a Fineas icon for this post in celebration, it's not like I'm short of them.

ps. Ignore this link, it's not here. Oh, alright, go have a look. [livejournal.com profile] devils_kitchen proves that political party websites don't have to look like something from the late '90s with his build of the UKIP Ealing site for the by-election. Ouch, I just linked to UKIP approvingly. I'll go and repent now—the content remains crap you'll be pleased to know.
I am ever so slightly in love with the Metro news web editor.
Quoth [livejournal.com profile] burge ina comment at [livejournal.com profile] tyrell's last week, and I'm inclined to agree. Why? Well, today's top weird story is Google: now searching for snakes about how they lost a snake in one of their offices. The story itself is merely amusing. The reason the edito is cool is because of the way they're writing the snippet text in the feeds, the bit that's normally an exerpt or summary of the story. Here's the article snippet:
Python gets loose in Googles offices. They want these motherf***ing snakes off this motherf***ing search engine.
Note, at no point does that text appear in the actual article.

[livejournal.com profile] metro_weird. Add it, if just to add amusement. Anyone fancy an emailing campaign thanking them for a job well done? Because good work doesn't get praised enough...
  • El Reg reports that you can now rent people to join your protest in Germany. Potential protesters get paid, but aren't obliged to agree unless it's something they agree with. Hmm, attack on the principles of democracy, an example of 'everything for sale', or a simple way to motivate otherwise apathetic activists? Let's face it, if you were going to be paid to turn up at the next Parliament Square protest, you might actually do it, right?

  • Right then, Life On Mars I've heard many many good things about this show, and then today [livejournal.com profile] mng linked to loveandgarbage who was linking to this awesome trailer for the next series, which shows the main characters as if they're in Camberwick Green! How cool is that? I hate to do this, but The Sun has the best version of the promo picture. So, maybe I should've bought the DVD box set in the January sales for £20 after all? Ah no, Sendit has it for £16 and Choices for £14. Bargain. Now if Mike had any decent image manip software, I'd be iconning myself up, they're so cool.

  • Now, I read about this on [livejournal.com profile] roughtype a few days back, but have been busy/net deprived, but Wikipedia has implemented rel="nofollow" for all outgoing links. This is a BAD BAD THING. Now, whatever we think of Google the corporation, Google the search engine, and specifically the PageRank formula, is essentially democracy in action. The readon it works is because it aggregates all the links out there and figures out which are the most popular (and therefore useful) sites. rel="nofollow" is there for webmasters to say that they don't trust a link, or they don't want to vote for it. By putting nofollow on all its outgoing links (in a spurious and useless attempt to fight spam), Wikipedia is effectively both denying other sites their votes (and opting out of the democracy), but also asserting clearly that their content is untrustworthy, cannot be guarnateed and they don't want to give legitimate credit.  That last links to a Wordpress Plugin that I'll be putting in next time I update, and from now on I'll be nofollowing any links to Wikipedia that I make, and I urge others to do the same.  If they want to opt out of the Google democracy, they should do it both ways (as, for example, [livejournal.com profile] daweaver's The Snow in Summer already does) and say they don't want inbound links either.  Of course the real issue is linkspam in the form of blog comments, and of course disreputable Search Marketers who do things the bad way, as Tim described one company to me, a bunch of spamming twunts.
  • Last up (for now) Wordpress 2.1 is out, which means [livejournal.com profile] lj2wordpress should be kicking start a little more, I need to catch up with some things, and reply to a few emails, but this particular project looks like it'll have real legs.  After all, Livejournal is slowly dying.  Journal Press will rock.  Hopefully.
Oh, for those not scrolling back again; I've got a place to live in London, start moving in Saturday.  Comes with wireless broadband and all bills included, which will be nice.
  1. Clickz.com has an interview with the Six Apart CEO
    • [livejournal.com profile] foxfirefey gives it a good fisking[1], and goes through a whole load of useful numbers [2]. Seriously, go read.
    • Given the factual innacuracies in the article, I emailed the author. Despite the 6A spin, he admits that the mistakes are his. He says he'll fix it [3].
  2. My good friend [livejournal.com profile] draich_goch is having problems with his garage.
    • Remember this idea from June?
    • We decided to do Blears and [livejournal.com profile] mapp, but never got around to setting it up.
    • Let's do it

Setting up those Google Bombs

Right, there were going to be two, but in order to assist Jason and get some petty revenge, I'm adding a third. Feel free to do one, two, or three of them. Theoretically, it only takes a week or so to work, but this'll be the first one I'm aware of entirely via Livejournal.


Links, guidelines, and a copy past post )
which should give an output something like:
I'm participating in [livejournal.com profile] matgb's attempt at the first proper Livejournal Google Bomb. We have decided to promote a cowardly genius, denigrate an insubstantial careerist and point out to the world a bunch of lying bastards. For more information go here.
The links list entries are the most important, as Google really likes to index front-page links, but also picks up links from sub pages as well.

Footnotes and added commentary )
OK, the results are in. Executive decision; everyone that know him picked Mark, most that don't picked Blears. As I really can't stand the woman anyway (she's not as bad as el Tone but, y'know) I figure let's do both, fair?

[Poll #757340]

We can, of course, accept late write in nominations if someone comes up with something really good.

Completely unrelated. People interested in Doctor Who, Sci-Fi books and/or international politics should go friend [livejournal.com profile] nhw. He's rather good at bringing the drama...
Right, yesterdays post gives us a few suggestions and enough people taking part to (probably) make it work. So, collating the suggestions, we have:
[Poll #751711]
For the second one, any suggestions for any of the targets welcome, if you runout of space, comment y'hear?

Also, write in candidates are allowed, and I am specifically using tickboxes not radio buttons, feel free to vote for more than one target; we can, after all, do more than one bomb if we feel like it, we'll just do the most popular first.
Right, we're all out of the sandbox and then some now. And I'm bored, and busy at work, so I want some easy amusement. I want to set up a [Poll #750784]
I'm tempted to do something like pointless waste of time but, well, some of you fools like Big Brother (could do the same for the World Cup instead?).

Partially, want to do this as a proof of concept, in theory, three participants doing it correctly can get an obscure term to a high ranked site easily, but, say, 20 people on my f-list could get pretty much anything if we wanted to. Theoretically. And if we can? Well, for example, Exeter students could do some nasty things to parts of the website or, say, the Vice Chancellor. Most cabinet members have been done over more than once already, but, y'know, the more the merrier...

Extra: Interesting Slate article on the subject, with a good roundup of the history.
Via Boing Boing:
Stop saying like, like )(from Neatorama, another At Flickr)

Suffice to say, I agree. I don't mind occasional use, especially as a pause for, like, thought. But some people scatter the word (and/or "you know") throughout sentences, with no real need or pause.

The poster campaign is a spoof BTW, but it's still cool.

Gmail ad targetting )

An email notification from a comment on an f-locked post. Not relevent, so I've removed all identifiers, but look at the targetted ads there. There's no direct mention of Douglas, nor of Hitchhikers, merely character names. There are some smart cookies out there paying for their keywords. Wonder which ones triggered it; Zaphod is the most obvious...

Phone's playing up a bit, annoyingly, seems to not want to tell me about text messages. Ah well, it still rings, and I've switched it off and recharged it, that usually helps.

Putting that up purely so that Google starts indexing it. Feed display script is quite nifty though.
I've updated my previous post.
Google Bomb.

If'n you could all do the copy/paste thing in it as directed, very much appreciated.
Or, alternately, you're now the proud user of a proper 'blog' with your own unique (sub)domain. LJ are giving some bollux due to a vulnerability in, um, FireFox, but that's not relevent. Why is this really important? Pagerank and Google.

What they've done to your username and links )

Implication? Well, us LJers have a tendency to link to each other a lot, which means that when we do from now on, the person we link to has their pagerank with Google go up. It's a perpetuating circle over time.

So, anyone want to propose our first Google Bomb? For an example, try jelly bellied flag flapper; that one was set up less than a week ago, they can filter through in 2 or 3 days.


More on googlebombing and how it works )

So, do me a favour, exercise in silliness. Copy this into a post or onto any web pages you may have access to:
<a href="http://matgb.livejournal.com/77989.html" title="Google bomb">Google Bomb</a>
and, if you've got some spare links in your links list, put the link (http://matgb.livejournal.com/77989.html) in there titled 'google bomb'?

Just a thought exercise, there are some pretty weighty sites up the top there...
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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