Friday, September 30, 2005

FOUND - AMBER ALERT! Help find this child!


Help find this child! He is in danger. They won't issue an amber alert on a technicality. Read the details. Study the picture!

Taken from the city of Strongsville, Ohio. Last seen in Lakewood, Ohio on Clifton Blvd. 9-28-05 at 10:00 a.m. We suspect that she will be trying to make her way either towards Mexico, or Florida.
Nancy Rolfe may be driving a White Chevy conversion van with light blue or green pin stripes. She may also be with a friend who drives a white Honda with black trim.

He'll be coming through Tennessee folks! Spread the word!

(Click here to quickly cut and paste the source of this message into your post)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

save $19.95 - DivX is free!

For their 5th anniversary DivX is offering their full software package for free.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

ASUS N6600 PCIe Video Card

I bought one of these a week ago and when installing in the box found that the display was all spotty and not working at all well. When booted into BIOS I couldn't even read most of the text.
Fortunately the place I buy my gear from Computer Alliance are looking after me and will replace the card, or resolve the issue for me. I am currently sitting in their showroom waiting.

Cheap Data Centres For Sale

Someone suggested that with the recent increase in hurricane activity and all the recent talks of Global warming increasing the number of hurricanes we could probably obtain great deals purchasing data centers that are in hurricane areas. They suggest that in no time we would have multiple data centers in different hurricane zones and we would achieve geographical redundancy and we would also obtain even more experience in disaster planning and disaster mitigation by being involved in so many hurricanes. Sounds like an interesting concept. However, I am thinking that there could be some drawbacks that I am missing…

Taken from the Interdictor posted by Sig Solares, CEO of DirectNic one of our hosting companies!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Look Back at State of the Art

This video will leave today's techies rolling with laughter as TechTV describes "The Ultimate Gaming Machine" in 1998. Listen to the enthusiasm with which they describe 128MB of SDram!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Get your music to your harddrive quick

Need to rip 25 cds in 2 hours?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Search Wars Quality Vs Quantity

Posted from
It is no secret that Google and Yahoo are on a continuous battle to win our hearts and get everyone to convert, but is converting someone really a matter of the quantity or the quality?

Let's take a look at some top key searches and compare them with some search engines online. I will outline a few things for each search result:

1) Search Engine
2) Number of results found
3) Quality & content of the top 10 sites
4) What you find going beyond the first 10 pages

Each section will get ranked out of 10 points for quality (information taken on August 26,2005).

Starting with my all-time favorite search term: "INTERNET MARKETING"
- 99,000,000 results
- 10/10 on quality
- 10/10 Past 10 pages still delivers top quality results
- 281,000,000 results
- 7/10 on quality. There's no reason to list a "Hotel Marketing Firm" & "Building websites". The #1 spot was reserved for Yahoo marketing.
- 9/10 Past 10 pages, it is very generic for business, not specific.
- 93,661,176 results
- 10/10 on quality
- 10/10 Past 10 pages still delivers high quality results. I am surprised and give MSN two thumbs up for their attention to detail.

Moving onto the search term for "BUSINESS NEWS"
- 627,000,000 results
- 10/10 on quality
- 10/10 Beyond 10 pages delivers high quality & local news centers.
- 1,260,000,000 results (wow)
- 10/10 on quality
- 9/10 Beyond 10 pages. There are still some sites that should never be there.
- 381,631,054 results
- 8/10 on quality - Some aren't related at all and brand new sites as well.
- 10/10 beyond 10 pages. Their results seem to tighten up and get better.

Let's now take some more "local" search results to see deeper and more targeted results...

Moving on to the search term for "WASHINGTON UNIVERSITIES".
I hope to find the "University of Washington" come up #1 or thereabouts.
- 22,700,000
- 10/10 on quality ( is #1)
- 10/10 beyond 10 pages. The results still deliver "university" topics.
- 143,000,000 results
- 9/10 on quality - The top spot is reserved for Yahoo on Washington University in St. Louis. There seems to be a strong battle going on here on which university to list.
- 10/10 beyond 10 pages. Content is specific and relevant.
- 34,442,536 results
- 9/10 on quality - Again another battle going on and is #10 tilting on the verge of page 2.
- 10/10 beyond 10 pages. All related to Washington & University living

Let's now get even more specific than that... For this search term I will be using something very local that I can relate to and give a better analysis.

Moving on to the search term for "HAMILTON ONTARIO CANADA".
- 3,700,000 results
- 10/10 on quality - Great job
- 10/10 beyond 10 pages - Anything goes but is directly related to Hamilton.
- 14,900,000 results
- 10/10 on quality - Almost the same as Google but a couple of different choices.
- 9/10 on quality - Some results are found by keyword stuffing their pages.

MSN Local *New (
- 1,280,405 results
- 9/10 on quality - Getting some random placements & keyword stuffing
- 10/10+ beyond 10 pages - Many local companies well listed in the results.

Let's now take a look at these results as a total. Out of a possible score of 80 points, here are the total scores for each:

Google - 80 points
MSN - 76 points
Yahoo - 73 points

Total search results delivered:

Google - 752,400,000
Yahoo - 1,698,900,000
MSN - 511,015,171

And people wonder why Google is the king of searching?! But wait, without even noticing the results, as I totaled the final point standings, MSN came up in second place! In my study, I tried to be as neutral as possible.

How is it that Msn & Google have 50% the amount of results shown in Yahoo, but outrank Yahoo in quality?

In conclusion:
Even though Yahoo delivered a report stating that it has over 19 billion search items, what does it matter when you're still trying to figure out how to deliver all that content? MSN & Google seem to know exactly what to do with their results. They don't seem "off the wall" at all. If Yahoo is to step up and be crowned the search king, I really think that they need to refine the amount of search terms they have, to match the quality of search results as well.

Yahoo has major potential to outreach Google but they still have a lot of work ahead of them and by the time they figure things out, Google may even step up their game even further and wow us all on some other search plateau.

About the Author: Martin Lemieux -
Martin Lemieux is the president of the Smartads Advertising Network. Smartads is here to help small to large companies grow online and offline. Visit the Smartads Network today! International:

Archeology From The Sky

Discover ancient civilizations from the comfort of your own home!

Computer programmer Luca Mori found the remains of an ancient Roman villa when he browsed Google Earth maps showing satellite images of his local area.

Opera Browser Now Free

Attention all developers! Opera browser 8.5 is now free! Get it at least for compatibility testing.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Where does spam come from?

Here is a map showing origins of spam.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Windows Genuine Advantage Offers

"Users of genuine Windows XP operating systems are invited to take advantage of special offers. Not sure if you are using genuine Windows? Select an offer to find out!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

SMS your Outlook contacts using Redcoal

Redcoal SMS Communicator Plugin for MS Outlook Description: U can b SMSing in just 2 min with this true SMS Communicator! Just click the 'Send SMS' button on the Outlook toolbar, created by this easy-to-install Outlook plug-in and send and receive SMS messages to and from your field employees, staff, clients, partners and friends to and from over 130 countries. Easy to set-up plug-in is free for non-commercial use. Commercial users will have to purchase commercial license at $26 per user.

Download from Bluechillies

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

20 Things They Don't Want You To Know

PC World lists somethings that vendors don't want you to know. (yes, I only count 17 too but that's because on the Useless Specs page they include 3 items.)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Child Pr0n

I received an email from a friend wondering how to stop receiving child pr0n in his email.
Here is my response.

Emails for child porn probably are not targeted to you personally, rather your email address would have been harvested somewhere and sold or stolen by some unscrupulous operators. These then send spam mails (junk mail) to everybody on their lists.
Odds are it isn't actually child porn anyway. A lot of porn on the internet is not actually real but fake and often not what it is purported to be - eg "Jessica Simpson in orgy". Odds are its not her - if it is then its probably a headshot that has been cut and pasted into another photo.

The best thing to do is to ignore it, train your junk mail filter to catch it and delete it. Do not reply to it or use the unsubscribe feature (if offered) as this simply alerts them that the email address is real.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Cheat Sheets for Developers

Pete Freitag has done an exceptional job at putting together a list of over 30 cheat sheets useful for developers. I have one of the css cheat sheets (listed on Spy Journal Tech Tips in May) printed and use it daily.

(please see Pete Freitag's post for links):

Web Development Cheat Sheets
Hex Codes
HTML Entities
Databases / SQL Cheat Sheets
Language Cheat Sheets
ColdFusion - work in progress
Regular Expressions
Version Control Cheat Sheets
ASCII Character Codes
Commercially Printed CheatSheets
Visibone - javascript, browsers, colors, fonts, html.
TechnoChallenged - web dev, programming, os, software
Perl - thanks Dom.
Regex - thanks bjhanifin
Perl - thanks Derek
Subversion - nice reference card, thanks Andreas
Debian - thanks again Andreas
UML - Andreas again, thanks
PostgreSQL - thanks for the suggestion frank.

Why Web Developers Use Firefox!

I could not do justice to this presentation by daring to make a summary. I encourage all web developers to read this! It covers all the reasons I develop with Firefox.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Google Instant Messaging

Google Inc. is set to introduce its own instant messaging system, the Los Angeles Times reported 25th August. The move marks the Web search leader's expansion into text and also voice communications.

Citing unnamed sources "familiar with the service," the newspaper said that Google's instant messaging program would be called Google Talk and could be launched as early as tomorrow. Google Talk goes beyond text-based instant messaging, using a computer keyboard to let users hold voice conversations with other computer users, the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the company's plans.

If confirmed, the combined computer text and voice-calling service would put Google in competition with a similar service pioneered by Skype, which has attracted tens of millions of users, especially in Europe.

Separately, independent journalist Om Malik wrote in his blog about technical clues that suggest that Google is preparing to run an instant messaging service based on the open-source system Jabber. That would allow Google instant messaging users to connect with established IM systems that also work with Jabber, including America Online Inc.'s ICQ and Apple Computer Inc.'s iChat, Malik said.

"This is the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will be up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype," he wrote.

Monday, September 05, 2005

So you think you can throw a paper ball...

Try this online flash game and test your skills without having to pick up the mess!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I salute you Michael Barnett

From his blog The Interdictor Micahel Barnett and his team are the only reason you are reading this, as this website and most of the websites I manage are only on air due to their efforts.
DirectNic is an internet hosting company also providing domain name registration and DNS hosting based in New Orleans. I use them for most of my websites.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the company has a small team holed up in the 11th floor of their building running the servers on diesel generators.

Here are some quotes from his blog started during Hurricane Katrina and getting over 3000 hits an hour.
As has become their nightly routine, police formed up in 2 rows of 4 cars on Poydras at dusk and started driving around city blocks over and over. I saw some one car stop at a group of people camped out on a Camp Street sidewalk and question them, but then the cops drove off and left them alone.
Then we had to take a router down to city hall to try to get the city rolling on their internet. That included wading through water. God, the city is a mess when you head down Poydras that way. The Superdome looks like the Jenin refugee camp. God help this city. Whether or not it ought to be rebuilt is secondary to the real issue: can it be rebuilt? Looking around, I wouldn't know where or how to start. Good luck with that.
Dead bodies everywhere: convention center, down camp street, all over.
National Guard shoving water off the backs of trucks. They're just pushing it off without stopping, people don't even know it's there at first -- they drop it on the side in debris, there's no sign or distribution point -- people are scared to go near it at first, because the drop points are guarded by troops or federal agents with assault rifles who don't let people come near them, which scares people off. It is a mess. When people actually get to the water, they are in such a rush to get it that one family left their small child behind and forget about him until Sig carried him back to the family.
It's raining now and I guess that's a relief from the heat. It's hot as hell down there in the sun. Crime is absolutely rampant: rapes, murders, rape-murder combinations.

Please pray for New Orleans and its people. Thanks Michael and "Bigfoot" and the people who do what they can regardless of the circumstances.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

DirectNic and Katrina

I use DirectNic for a lot of my domain name registration and DNS hosting (including Spy Journal). I just found out that they are located in New Orleans.
Heres how they are coping

Latest news
UPDATE: 8/31

* As our staff returns to New Orleans from their safe harbors over the next couple of days, things will be returning to normal.
* Due to Hurricane Katrina we have an usually high volume of support requests. Please be patient and we will be back with you as soon as possible.

Good luck guys and thanks for being dedicated and staying live when you could have abandoned the ship!