The Loading Speed of Your Website and Your Site's Ranking PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 21:45

Google has long bween focused on speed, one of the factors that made its search engine so popular in the first place. Now it looks like Google is going to try to speed up the web by giving a higher ranking to those sites that load faster.

In an interview with  Web Pro News, Google's Matt Cutts cited two newsworthy items. First, Google will be making its Caffeine update live before the holidays, but not getting it into the rest of Google's data centers until after the holiday. The reason for the post-holiday rollout is as as not to upset webmasters who may well end up with lots to rethink and redo once the new algorhithm shows up, since some sites' rankings may drastically change

The second item was site speed... speed has not been a factor in the past, but it looks like it's about to become one. A number of people within Google see it as very important, and it is being considered as a possible ranking factor. See this article for more detail: http://videos.webpronews.com/2009/11/13/matt-cutts-interview/.

I have always tried to design sites for speed, in large part because so many people in Western North Carolina still have access to dial-up only. When those who are on broadband go to those sites, I hear from the site owners how much they appreciate a site that is tuned to run really fast. Now it looks like that may pay off in other ways as well.And as a user on the web, I know I get frustrated all the time by some of the big sites that take forever to load a page, only to find that that page doesn't have what I was looking for and now I have another wait for the next page to load.

I've seen plenty of sites that are not designed all that well, or the graphics aren't fine-tuned to a smaller file size, and the sites load a lot slower than they should. In some cases I am asked to take a look at them and try to speed them up, and sometimes that speeding up is considerable. Sites created by graphic designers who got into web design are often guilty of this, as are some Flash sites and sites that are graphics-heavy when they don't need to be--having a fancy background and design for the basic site is all fine and good, but if it loads slower than it should, it's about to become a liability in Search Engine Optimization.


The Facebook Fan Check Virus PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 September 2009 18:32

A new article from Sophos, a leading security company in the areas of viruses and other computer security issues, states "Beware of Googling (or indeed Yahooing or Binging or using any other internet search engine) for information about something called "Facebook Fan Check Virus", as you're likely to end up on a website hosting malicious code."

 Apparently hackers are setting up fake websites for this particular search trend in order to install malicious software on your computer so they can grab your credit card details. See the article here:

Mac Users Now Being Targeted PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 August 2009 19:24
It would seem that Apple computers aren't invulnerable after all, as so many os their users seem to think they are. True, they are a lot less susceptible to viruses and trjoans only because hackers haven't been writing code for them--hackers go for the larger market, which is still computers running Windows. But this little chunk of news from Sophos, one of the leading companie battleing security threats like computer viruses, shows that hackers are now starting to pay a little more attention to Macs. Now that so many uses have switched over to Macs, we may well start seeing more of these episodes: Boobytrapped images pose threat to Mac users, warns Apple.
RUBotted, Anti-malware et al PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 June 2009 10:45

Millions of PCs are now thought to be silently controlled by spammers and criminal gangs. These PCs have been taken over by malware secretly downloaded onto the PCs using web exploits, infected emails and more. Trend Micro has a utility that helps you check your computer for such activity:

"RUBotted is a free program that monitors your computer for suspicious activities and regularly checks with an online service to identify behavior associated with Bots. Upon discovering a potential infection, RUBotted prompts you to scan and clean your computer."

Try it out, if you're lucky your PC is clean. But you might be unpleasantly surprised to find it's been added to a botnet, in which case you'll at least know there's a problem and can take steps to clean your PC:

If RUBotted tells you your PC is infected, you might want to try out a piece of software that's free: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. There's a paid version that allows you block malware from being installed on your computer as you browse the web, but the free version can scan your computer for malware and remove it. We recommend using the anti-malware in addition to Avast anti-virus, a product we've found to be one of the fastest in updating for new viruses and protecting your computer. The free home version does a far better job than most of the other free anti-virus we've tried, and in fact is just as good or better than commercial versions. Since the anti-malware product looks for different things than the anti-virus, a combination of the two (and the two products above work well together) helps keep your PC clean.


The Heinkel Kabine, for one... PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 June 2009 16:17

When I was a kid, living in Denville, NJ, I remember seeing a neighbor across the street driving a 3-wheeled car. It was a rather small red car, but it was the fact that it had only 3 wheels, much like a backwards tricycle (the single wheel was at the back end) that struck me. I've never seen one since, and for a long time have wondered whether it was just a kid's imagination that made me think it had only 3 wheels. Maybe I hadn't gotten a good enough look at it, maybe I had only thought it had 3 wheels and it really had 4.

Then, when I was listening to some old Jean Shepherd broadcasts dating from the early 1960's, I heard him mention something called a Goggomobil (pronounced "go go mobile". I wondered what that car looked like--it was a micro-car of the late 50's, early 60's--and did some looking online. (It's worth taking a look for it--there's a lot of old cars that one never sees at old car shows that are quite interesting in themselves, and this one had some popularity at the time.) In so doing, I came across a number of 3-wheeled cars..... Oh my G*d... I had thought it was all in my imagination! I'm not sure the one I remember is shown in this museum, but then again, I don't remember the car all that well. It was the 3 wheels that got my attention as a kid.The BMW Isetta bubble car may have been what I saw.

Here's a website for a micro-car museum so you can browse through all the different types of  micro-cars that have been built over the years. Many of the companies that built themhave gone out of business, but some (like Honda) are still around. Look for their "Virtual Tour" link to browse through the many different cars in their collection. Perusing the site, anyone who has seen the old Jetson's cartoon can see where the idea came from for the vehicles they used... even if the Jetson's vehicle flew rather than drove along a road.

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