DoD Family Pets Being Evacuated From Japan, Civilian Teachers Told They Must Stay

I have a friend who is a teacher. A few years back he got the opportunity of a lifetime, one of his dreams come true: he got invited by the DoDDS (the Department of Defense Dependents Schools) to come work for them, teaching dependents of military personnel on military bases around the world. He was ecstatic when he got chosen for the job. He spent, I believe, the first two years in Germany, and then last year they moved him to Japan.

When the tsunami hit I was a little freaked out until I heard from him that he was ok. Then the issues started to happen with the nuclear reactors and I and a few other people started to worry again. On Thursday, March 17th I saw this on Facebook:

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Email To The FSF About WordPress’s GPL License Violations

So, after it became obvious that the WordPress developers responding to having the GPL violations pointed out to them were unwilling to admit that they needed to abide to the license, I decided that it was best to email the FSF themselves and ask about the violation issues. The email I sent is below:

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As It Turns Out, WordPress Itself Is Not 100% GPL Compliant After All (And They Violate The MIT License As Well)

Yesterday I stumbled upon a rather interesting tidbit of information. I opened Twitter in the middle of a conversation between between Chip Bennett and Ben Cook, and I saw this tweet:

 

@chip_bennett @mattonomics that thread is everything wrong with the WordPress project wrapped up nicely in one ignorant package. - @Skitzzo

 

Curiosity piqued, I dug back through the tweets until I found a link to the thread Ben was referring to. It turns out that it is

Read moreAs It Turns Out, WordPress Itself Is Not 100% GPL Compliant After All (And They Violate The MIT License As Well)

Matt Cutts Criticizes Deceptive Ads, Doesn’t Realize Google Is The One Serving Them

Yesterday over on Daggle.com Danny Sullivan published a post titled, Of Misleading Acai Berry Ads & Fake Editorial Sites. In the article Danny discuses a rising trend of deceptive marketing practices involving fake news sites, the way they rip people off with products they are selling, and the fact that authority sites such as the LA Times are the ones carrying these ads, lending them some credibility in the public eye. Danny states in the post that the ads showing are being served by Zedo, and that he wishes the ad network should raise it’s standards and not allow such blatantly misleading advertising:

Personally, I’d like to see Zedo up its standards for the type of ads it will accept. This type of junk shouldn’t be allowed. – Danny Sullivan

He’s right, too, the ad networks should be policing this type of deception, by all means. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the web spam team, agrees. He tweeted about the story, and also

Read moreMatt Cutts Criticizes Deceptive Ads, Doesn’t Realize Google Is The One Serving Them

Google Censors Torrent Sites – Except For The Pirate Bay

Yesterday Search Engine Land reported about Google removing piracy-related terms from it’s Instant Search, which includes the word torrents, names of torrent sites, names of torrent clients, and other file sharing sites such as RapidShare and Megaupload. This does raise some concerns, seeing as how, as SELand’s Matt McGee mentions, torrents and file sharing sites in and of themselves are not inherently illegal. Of course, neither is porn, but Google seems to have seen fit to remove that genre from it’s Instant Search as well.

Does this mean that Google really hates torrent sites? Well, not all of them, apparently. The Pirate Bay, world’s largest bittorrent tracker,

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Breaking News: Google Borks the Earth

Want to explore the entire planet from your computer? Normally all anyone wanting to do so would have to do would be to trot on over to Google Earth, download and install their application, and off globe trotting they could go. Today, unfortunately, those who do not already have the program installed are apparently out of luck. It looks like today one of the brighter Google engineers working for one of the world’s leading tech companies has somehow broken not just one of the download links for the application, but all of them.

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zOMG! Jason Calacanis Lied Again?? Shocker!

Last Thursday, in response to Matt Cutts stating that he needed more than “arbitrary inurl searches” to sway him (which was in turn in response to a Hacker News submission about Mahalo and the plethora of keyword rich domains they were apparently building out) I wrote a post explaining in some detail how the latest Mahalo spam is in fact spam. I demonstrated in the post how Jason had developed a linkfarm which was being used as a link source back to Mahalo.com. It wasn’t just that the individual sites were all linking back to the mother site, which would in fact be normal, but also that the pages were linking back to specific pages within the main site, pages that in many cases had few, if any, links going to them aside from the ones from this linkfarm.

Each time it happens Matt’s defense of Mahalo spamming Google just gets more perplexing. In this latest round he started by saying that his job was not to have knee jerk reactions, as if Mahalo hadn’t already established a pattern of spamming over a long period of time, and that Matt is pretending he hadn’t already had a talk with Jason and told him that if he didn’t raise the bar with his site that Google would take action on Mahalo. From there it got even weirder – Matt looked at the linkfarm and basically told me that a) he didn’t care as long as it wasn’t passing link juice, and b) he’s the only one who could tell if that was the case.

I could have sworn that it was if you were caught trying to spam you were penalized, and you couldn’t get the penalty removed unless you promised not to do it again. Now, where did I get such a crazy and wild idea? Oh yeah, I remember now…

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Need Help Understanding The Latest Mahalo Spam?

On Tuesday of this week someone posted the following question to the Hacker News website: How long has Mahalo been using keyword domains like this? The link in the story points to a search in Google, [inurl:tip_guidelines mahalo]. The results of this query show a list of somewhere between 180 and 270 sites (Google doesn’t show all of them, just the first 184 or so) all belonging to Mahalo.com, all keyword rich domains, all using the Mahalo Answers platform, and all covering material that Mahalo.com already covers. I am sure most of you are familiar with that fact that Google labels sites that have little or no content and are designed to drive affiliate conversions as Thin Affiliate sites:

These sites usually have no original content and may be cookie-cutter sites or templates with no unique content. – Google Webmasters Tools Help, on sites Google does not like

These sites that Mahalo has started churning out, all that were apparently created just this year, would appear to be the AdSense version of the classic “thin affiliate” website.

I showed Matt Cutts the link to the search itself, and asked if he thought that the list of sites

Read moreNeed Help Understanding The Latest Mahalo Spam?

Was The Google Mayday Update A Complete Failure Then?

Earlier this week at SMX Advanced Seattle, during the You&A With Matt Cutts, the topic of the latest Google update, dubbed Mayday by webmaster last month, happened to come up. According to Ryan Jones’ live blogging account of the SMX Keynote the update had nothing to do with the web spam team. It was an algorithmic change that was intended to “make long tail results more useful”. Matt made statements in effect telling webmasters who might have been affected by MayDay that they should look at their content and see how usefulness or unique content could be added to those pages. This indicates that the point of the Mayday update was to filter out or penalize results that are not unique content, or that are simply autogenerated results.

Matt made similar statements when he was interviewed by WebProNews and the topic came up:

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