On Freedom Of Speech And Social Media (A Quick Note To Anonymous Commenters)

I understand that on occasion people like to give fake emails when posting a comment. If you are using your real identity and just paranoid that I am going to spam you (which, by the way, I’m not) and leave a false email address, well… it’s not like I am going to verify it anyways. If it happens every so often so be it. I’d rather you use a real one, of course, but I get it.

I also understand that sometimes people don’t want to use their real names when having discussions on the web. Most, in fact, go by some handle or another the majority of the time. When they do they usually use it pretty much everywhere, but if they like to switch it up for some reason or another here and there

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Is Google Referrer Spamming Too Now?

Yesterday a friend of mine sent me a section of her traffic logs that were showing some odd information. According to what was recorded there her brand new, as of yet unlinked-to website was ranking on the first page of Google for the single keyword, [free]. If she actually had managed to rank for that phrase it would be an amazing feat to say the least. The competition for that single word is enormous. Unsurprisingly, when performing that actual search her site is nowhere to be found. The site in question is barely one week old, and hasn’t even been launched yet.

What is surprising, to me anyways, is that it appears that the traffic is actually coming from a bot at Google… a bot that is cloaked, sending fake

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Google Fails 5th Grade Math Test

Calculator says... idk, 7? So, I think I finally discovered the cause of global warming. No, for reals. From what I can tell, miss Mother Nature started using Google Calculator in helping her figure out what kind of weather she should serve up to us. Now, if she were trying to bake a cake, or perhaps get driving directions, I am sure Google would have worked just fine. But for doing math involving temperatures…? Not so much.

I was playing around with the functions on Google Calculator last week, when I noticed some of the calculations weren’t quite right. Maybe Michael Bolton from Office Space was involved

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Why The Renewed Interest In The Linkscape Scams And Deception..?

Yesterday a friend of mine, Sebastian, wrote a post titled, “How do Majestic and LinkScape get their raw data?“. Basically it is a renewed rant about SEOmoz and their deceptions surrounding the Linkscape product that they launched back in October 2008, a little over 15 months ago. The controversy is based around the fact that moz basically lied about how it was exactly they were obtaining their data, which in part was probably motivated by wanting to make themselves look like they were more technically capable than they actually are.

Now, I covered this back when the launch actually happened, in this Linkscape post, resulting in quite a few comments, and there was more than a little heated conversation in the Sphinn thread as well. This prompted some people, both on Sebastian’s post and in the Sphinn thread on it, to ask why all of the renewed interest?

It is not extreme, its just that it isn’t new. The fact that they bought the index (partially)? That was known from the beginning. The fact that they don’t provide a satisfying way of blocking their bots (or the fact that they didn’t want to reveal their bots user agent)? Check. The fact that they make hyped statements to push Linkscape? Check. {…} I don’t get the renewed excitement. – Branko, aka SEO Scientist

Well, I guess you could say that it’s my fault. Or, you could blame it on SEOmoz themselves, or their employees, depending on how you look at it. You see, the story goes like this…

Back when SEOmoz first launched Linkscape, it would have been damn near impossible for a shop their size to have performed the feats they were claiming, all on their own. Rand was making the claim “Yes – We spidered all 30 billion pages”. He also claimed to have done it within “several weeks”. Now, even if we stretch “several” to mean something that it normally would not, say, 6 (since a 6 week update period is now what they are claiming for the tool), we’re still talking a huge amount of resources to accomplish that task. A conservative estimate of the average website, considering only html, is 25KB of text:

30,000,000,000 websites x (25 x 1024) bytes per website = 768,000,000,000,000 bytes of data (768 trillion bytes, which is 698.4TB)

(698.4TB / 45 days of crawling) x 30 days in a month = 465.6TB bandwidth per month

Now, I know that one of the reasons that Rand can get away with some of his claims is that most people just don’t grasp the sheer size

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Facebook / Twitter / Myspace Hacking: How To Keep It From Happening To You

Breaking into Facebook.Over the past few weeks I have noticed a sharp increase of scammers trying to get my Facebook password, and not too long ago a few people I know actually fell prey to it. Recently there was an outbreak of of similar activity on Twitter, where the attempts were being spread through direct messages, and Myspace has seen it’s share of woes with these issue as well. The methods being used to try and trick users into giving their passwords away are collectively known as phishing attempts, where the members of the site are sent a message, either through the site itself or in an email,

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Video Games Requiring Physical Action Burn Calories – Duh

I don’t normally get all worked up and sarcastic about research. In fact, I love reading about real, truly beneficial scientific research. So while I appreciate the whole scientific process, sometimes I just have to say, “Well, Duh!” I suppose it’s important to test theories just to be SURE that a hypothesis is correct, but really, was it necessary to test the hypothesis that a video game that requires physical action – such as Nintendo’s Wii Boxing – would actually burn more calories in kids than watching TV would? Well, apparently someone felt the need to see if moving around might expend more energy than not moving around would, and lucky for us, the answer is Yes!

According to Science Daily’s summary of the research done by the University of Oklahoma,

Wii bowling and beginner level DDR elicited a 2-fold increase in energy expenditure compared to television watching. Overall, the energy expenditure during active video game play was comparable to moderate-intensity walking. Thus, for children who spend considerable time playing electronic screen games for entertainment, OU researchers found that substituting that time with physically active games can be a safe, fun and valuable means of promoting energy expenditure.

Let me give you a little of my own research.

Test 1: Sit on my derriere for 10 minutes watching TV. Am I tired? Nope. Not even a little.

Test 2: Play a Wii game like bowling or boxing or even yoga for 10 minutes. Am I tired? Nope. I’m EXHAUSTED.

Still not convinced? Would pictures make a difference?

Research Test 1:

dont burn calories

Research Test 2:

burn calories

I’m not sure what kind of research our universities are conducting these days, but I’m pretty sure this is the kind that does NOT need to be undertaken.

Go get your kids a Wii, let them play some physically active games, and know in your inner soul that they are expending energy. Really, you don’t need any scientific research to tell you that. It’s a Duh moment.

Quick Poll… Who Here Wants To Bing Jessica Biel?

Today CNN wrote a piece about the “‘Most dangerous’ celebs to search for online”. The article discussed which celebrity searches that were most likely to lead to sites infected with spyware. It was an interesting enough story, but what caught my eye were the two opening sentences:

Be cautious if you plan to Bing Jessica Biel or Google Brad Pitt. A new report says you might get a virus.

Now, while Microsoft may be hoping that people will associate the name of their revamped search engine, Bing, with

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Amazon Confirms: Shortened URL’s *Are* Allowed On Facebook and Twitter

Last week there was some commotion over the fact that it was being reported that Amazon.com was refusing to pay affiliates if they used url shortening services to post affiliate links on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. This actually makes no sense from a business perspective, since it would discourage people from sending traffic to Amazon using some of the most popular communication mediums that are out there today.

I decided to go through the affiliate operating agreement myself to see

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Dear Google, Both Yahoo and Bing Crushed You Today

Dear Google,

I ran a search today. It was a real search. In other words, this search wasn’t something I was researching as a search professional. This wasn’t a search for one of the high keyword value phrases. This was just me … being an ordinary user … wanting to find some information. And what I discovered was that Google failed me, big time, with absolutely nothing in the first ten results that was of any relevance to my query.

Now at first, I assumed *I* was the problem. After all, we’ve been conditioned to believe that if you don’t give us the answers we are looking for, then we must have asked the wrong question. And just as I was about to figure out how to rephrase my query, I decided to do something else first.

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Poopfree what? WTF?

Yesterday, I wrote an email which included words like “cluck” and “chicken” in it. I then sent it off to some friends. When I got a reply back, and I opened it up in Gmail, I noticed the ad that Google served based on the content of my email. Here’s a screenshot of it. Really, it rendered me speechless, and well, I just think a picture is worth a thousand words.


WTF? A poop-free chicken waterer? What??? Wait, I don’t even want to know.