Tag Archive: Rome

Psychic Search mucks up Search!

Problem

Bridge Supports

Support?

As a follow up to this post, Disabled my blogtrafficexchange.com Plugin, I trawled through some likely plugin candidates for the symptoms mentioned by @Not Kevin.  These are obviously anything related to “web searching” in all it’s guises.

Problem Solved

The problem plugin is Psychic Search from MaxBlogPress.  In two browsers at least (Chrome & Firefox – I didn’t test any more as one instance of the particular behaviour is bad enough, thank you very much), anyone arriving at my site from a search was left with a blank page but the correct URL showing in the address bar!  This manifested for anyone, including myself when logged on, even using the search boxes on the site main page!!!

MaxBlogPress

You pays your money and takes your choice.  Most WordPress plugins are free and there is a recognised support path via the WordPress community.  Most plugins are available via the WordPress plugin repository, and a side-benefit of this is that all previous plugin versions are there to download…..

Unfortunately, MaxBlogPress plugins are not in the repository and only available via their website.  There’s only a single version to download as well.   This means I cannot find a version to roll back to for the duff plugin as I never kept a local copy of the original.

Psychic Search is free but a registration process is required.  This leads to emails from MaxBlogPress of ever increasing urgency about the latest whizz-o product to improve your SEO or whatever.  Quite frankly, it’s almost spam…

Related Websites

Anyway, the Related Websites plugin from blogtrafficexchange.com is now up and running and both their and my websites seem back in order again!  Woo-Hoo!!

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Three Good Environment Plans

This week, I’ve become aware of three excellent initiatives that are focussing people’s energies, creativity, and cash(!) into positive solutions to the global energy crisis.  It just shows what can be done – and these projects are not difficult or hard to creative creatures like ourselves.

Big Mirrors in the Desert

A sustainable energy initiative that will start with a huge solar project in the Sahara desert has been announced by a consortium of 12 European businesses.

A sustainable energy initiative that will start with a huge solar project in the Sahara desert has been announced by a consortium of 12 European businesses.

This is a $400billion plan (yes, 400 billion!), that will plaster the top left corner of Africa with mirrors to harness solar energy.

These will boil water, make steam, turn conventional turbines to make electricity which will be sent across the Straits of Gibraltar, to Europe.

No doubt, the various peoples in the areas will benefit from all this in numerous ways.  That’s for politics.

The thing is, major European govenrments and industries are all signed up now, which in the scheme of things, takes some doing.

The first step is always the hardest.

Green Oil

Algal Ponds biodiesel

Algal Ponds biodiesel

In a similar way in the USA, large tracts of semi-desert are being used as test beds for algal production and it’s distillation into a usable biodiesel.

The BBC had a piece yesterday that explored the forces and conflicts at work, between the big oil businesses, the environment, people worried about jobs, etc.  Read it here: America’s energy policy dilemma

The Venus Project

Quoting the website here:

The Venus Project presents a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture. There are many people today who are concerned with the serious problems that face our modern society: unemployment, violent crime, replacement of humans by technology, over-population and a decline in the Earth’s ecosystems.

Don’t let the pictures put you off!  To my mind they remind me of Gerry Anderson’s world of Stingray & Thunderbirds, but maybe that’s what’ll happen?

The important thing is the degree of coherent thought being made, for the benefit of everyone, not just a few individuals or states.  This ties in closely with what I said here; http://strangelyperfect.tv/3821/top-banker-states-the-bleeding-obvious/

This is good, because at present, if these big technologies come to fruition, all the hot sunny places in the world, most of which are extremely poor in money and natural resources, will suddenly become everyone’s best friend, and it’s in the planning for this part of the equation that I think The Venus Project will show it’s greatest value.

Browse the website, there’s pots to see and think about!

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Dr Who and the Death of Self

Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Each one of the fuzzy white bits in the photo above is a galaxy containing billions of stars and thus many, many life-forms, all at various stages of evolutionThis statement is derived from the work of thousands of intellectuals using the powers of observation and deduction available to us all.

Journey's End (Doctor Who)

Journey's End (Doctor Who)

Tonight there was a show highlighting bits of the top BBC show, Doctor Who.

It was a reminder, for me, of the most cataclysmic scene, from the final (proper) episode called Journey’s End, where “The Doctor”  has to wipe the mind of Donna, his companion, to save herself from going mad.  (this was because she’d inherited his Time-Lord powers in the picture here, which are too much for a human).

Flowers For Algernon (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback )by Daniel Keyes

Flowers For Algernon (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback )by Daniel Keyes

This scene I can fully empathise with because of my own experience of an under-active thyroid gland which removed my powers of intellect and concentration, and almost removed my concept of “self”, before I was diagnosed.  At the time, when I was recovering, I called it my “Flowers for Algernon” experience.

“Flowers for Algernon” is an all-time great science fiction story.  Charlie Gordon, the story-telling diarist, like Donna Noble in Doctor Who, and like myself earlier, we were all crushingly aware of the powers we once had, but now were losing, visibly.

Socrates

Socrates

In many respects, it’s much worse than death.  People sometimes worry about death and try not to think about it, hoping it will go away.  Myself, I’ve always pondered it, sometimes to gloomy distraction.  It’s like the great unknown.

Socrates said;

Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.

With this, I fully agree, and can thus explain away my gloomy dallyings with the words of one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

Nichiren, the Buddhist monk of a later age said;

Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena and is revealed in all phenomena. To be awakened to this principle is itself the mutually inclusive relationship of life at each moment and all phenomena. – WND page 3, On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime

I think that with this in mind, for my next existence I’ll go somewhere different to this Earth….

Since I’ve been born I’ve always felt ‘old’, as if I’m returning here to ‘fix’ something, a devoir-faire.

Maybe I’ll be in these red centres of creation, a truly glorious image emphasising the hydrogen clouds.

"Mountains of Creation" by Spitzer. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars.  The pillars in the Spitzer image are part of a region called W5, in the Cassiopeia constellation 7,000 light-years away and 50 light-years across. In the image, hundreds of forming stars (white/yellow) can seen for the first time inside the central pillar, and dozens inside the tall pillar to the left.

"Mountains of Creation" by Spitzer. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars. The pillars in the Spitzer image are part of a region called W5, in the Cassiopeia constellation 7,000 light-years away and 50 light-years across. In the image, hundreds of forming stars (white/yellow) can seen for the first time inside the central pillar, and dozens inside the tall pillar to the left.

It’s truly a great privilege to be able to go out on an evening and stare at our night sky and the Milky Way, pondering on the gems that must exist, both in front of our eyes and those ones hidden by vast distance.

Our Milky Way by Spitzer Telescope - click for source page with VERY high resolution pictures!

Our Milky Way by Spitzer Telescope - click for source page with VERY high resolution pictures!

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Microsoft Performance in the Browser and Search Engine Wars

Introduction & History

Recently, Microsoft has reworked it’s search engine (MSN Live Search) and renamed it Bing.  This was followed even more recently, with a joint venture between itself and former search king Yahoo! into a hazily explained search and advertising combination.

Microsoft is well known for wheeling out the lawyers as backup to it’s long-running scheming that batters any competition into the ground.  I’m thinking particularly about the Netscape battle here…

Netscape, of course, although winning the final battle, lost the war and is no more.  But it’s technical expertise re-surfaced as the Phoenix browser, whose modern name is Firefox.

An advertising and search war has been extant ever since Google shot to prominence because it… er… gave better search results!  Microsoft has had umpteen attempts at catch up or smash down with the Google behemoth over the past decade.  None have had any real effect.  Likewise, Google has had umpteen attempts at rolling out profitable software to compete with Microsoft’s desktop dominance or Sun’s & HP’s mainframe business.  The only success is their own system of networked mini-computers using open-source software – so this doesn’t count!

Current Statistics

Below you’ll see the statistics globally, and also, as they hit this website, http://strangelyperfect.tv  This is for comparison.

Browsers

Global: (source: w3schools.com)
  • Firefox: 47.9%
  • IE (6 to 8): 39.4%
  • Chrome: 6.5%
  • Opera: 2.1%
StrangelyPerfect.TV (logs for August 2009 so far)
  • Firefox: 34.3%
  • IE (6 to 8): 49.7%
  • Chrome: 3.4%
  • Opera: 1.8%

Search Engine Usage

Global (source: hitslink.com)
  • Google: 78.45%
  • Yahoo!: 7.16%
  • Bing: 3.17%
StrangelyPerfect.TV (logs for August 2009 so far)
  • Google: 76.6%
  • Yahoo!: 4.2%
  • Bing: 15.4%

Conclusion

What’s clear is that the visitors to this website StrangelyPerfect.tv, have clearly different preferences to the global norm.  In fact (much to my chagrin it has to be said), there’s a clear tilt towards Microsoft products compared to global usage ratios.

  • Q.  Why?
  • A.  I don’t know!

Search

What I do know is that the Bing results following search queries that finish at this website are on a par with the Google ones!

From my analysis of my (admittedly small) sample of website hits, I can categorically say that’s there’s now no difference between Google & Bing for general searching.  I’ve proved this to myself with a few searches to corroborate this.

In this respect, Microsoft have done very well.   How they’ve done this, I don’t know.  But the similarities suggest similar logic at work on similar datasets.  Whether industrial espionage is the reason or the more likely cause of parallel evolution, only time will tell.

Browser

Microsoft’s browser has come on leaps and bounds since development stopped at IE5/6 after they’d crushed Netscape out of existence (why develop new software when there is no competition?).  Firefox has been the catalyst.  It’s security, stability and user-friendly features have pushed it’s share right up.  This forced Microsoft to react; first with the dreadfully slow IE7 and later with the much better IE8.

The in-built hysteresis of their desktop user base ensures that IE will be hard to beat.  For myself, Firefox is still streets ahead, primarily because of it’s interface – the key features are sized and placed proportionately to their importance on the screen.

It’s just, right; that’s all.

My gut feeling is that we’ve reached a balance point now that will remain for a couple of years at least.  Because the vast bulk of computer users are only just computer literate and ignorant of any alternatives,  I can’t see any browser pushing past the Microsoft desktop domination to enable the displacement of IE from the 50-50 mark.

Postscript

Weirdly, these are two battles of free against free.  Browsers are free to use – as is internet search.  It’s all about competing for advertising revenue in the end.

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I’d Forgotten Modem Skush!

Strangely post on July 31st, 2009
Posted in Internet Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve just come across this little plug for Yahoo. While not being exactly accurate overall, for the Yahoo! company it’s about right.
What amazed me was the modem click-skush-sh.sh.sh.sh.sh which I’ve completely forgotten about now.  Also the time scale – it’s only a dozen years or so since I picked up a mouse and thought a one inch square – 10 second video clip was fantastic!

Hopefully, the next step will be proper streamed audio without the fizzy artefacts as accompaniment!

BTW – crap tune. It’s better with the sound off.

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