Saturday, January 31, 2009

Defusing Obama’s Google Bomb


The Google bomb is a virus initiated to attack President Bush in 2003. The virus utilized Google as a tool by arranging to have countless web sites link the words "miserable failure" to Bush's official biography on the White House Web site. So when someone typed the search term "miserable failure" into the Google search box, Bush's bio was pushed to the top of the search results.

It took Google four years to create an algorithm to detect what became known as "Google bombs" and re-directed the term "miserable failure" to non-political pages. I can’t help but picture Wonder Woman deflecting bullets with her magic bracelets. But why did it take Google four years? Could it be that it took that long to develop a proper algorithm? Perhaps Google just didn’t worry about how many people would search under those specific terms.

When President Obama came into office the "miserable failure" pest adapted and took aim at Obama’s bio page. Another Goggle bomb was hurled with the phrase cheerful achievement. However, this time the algorithms were moved into place within days. Is it fair to say that Google could have anticipated Obama’s Google bombs and that is why they moved so quickly this time? Google did say the reason it took only a few days to redirect Obama's Google bomb was that, this time, it already had the algorithm in place.

According to an article by CNET News, the Obama "cheerful achievement" Google bomb was created by Montreal blogger Eric Baillargeon, who did not return requests for comment.

It has been reported that a Yahoo! search of "miserable failure," however, returns the official White House biographies of Obama and Bush so it seems that Google is not the only search engine being manipulated.

I don’t know about you but I am glad I don’t have to worry about inventing some algorithms to combat bombs but fighting off viruses is an everyday battle when you spend most of waking moments on the internet. I am just thankful that there are services out there like Computer Service Now that can take care of those problems for me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

George Bush's Attack by shoe spawns Iraqi Monument

Bush doges shoe at press conferenceLast month, we all saw former President George W. Bush giving a speech at a Baghdad press conference. And we also saw something we didn't expect to when an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at the former President. The attack erupted across the internet as soon as footage was released receiving over 800,000 views, it also birthed enormous amounts of political satire, web quips, street rallies across the Arab world and now it has even spawned a work of art.

A single, copper-coated sculpture of a shoe the size of a couch was put on a stand carved to resemble a flowing cloth. The sculpture was formally unveiled Thursday in none other than the hometown of tyrannical Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein, uh, former tyranical dictator that is. During the brief outdoor ceremony, officials and visitors walked around observing the sculpture questioning its oddities, like why in the heck there was a freaking tree protruding out of the shoe's interior.

Laith al-Amari, the Baghdad-based artist, called it a fitting tribute to the shoe hurler, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who has been giving a folk hero reputation in parts of the Muslim world and beyond. He stated that the work honors al-Zeidi, that it was "a source of pride for all Iraqis, not a poltical work."

Its location in sadaam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, which lies 80 miles north of Baghdad, is considerd a place of prewar nostalgia with some Iraqis. The shoe sculpture includes an ode to al-Zeidi. It talks about the virtues of being "able to tell the truth aloud." The truth al-Amari is talking about is what al-Zeidi shouted as he threw his shoes at Bush. In Arabic he shouted "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq."

Although Bush used his "cat-like" reflexes to dodge the oncoming projectiles, the image was powerful in the Arab culture. This is largely do to the fact that in the Arab culture, trowing shoes at someone is an extreme sign of contempt. For example, Iraqis bashed the toppled statue of Sadaam Hussein with their shoes and slippers.

Fatin Abdul-Qadir al-Nasiri, the director of an orphanage in Tikrit whose children helped fashion the sculpture stated that, "this monument...will remain a present for the forthcoming generations. They will remember the story of the hero(al-Zeidi) who bid farewell to the US President in such a way." You know with comments like this I can only imagine when the next group of radicals will arise and try to take America down.

Its not surprising to me at all that al-Zeidi, who was charged with attacking a foreign leader, was supposed to stand trial a month ago but that trial has been postponed as al-Zeidi's attorney wants a reduced sentence.

This really irritates me, extremely. While I know Bush was not the greatest President, he was still the president, and this nut wants a reduced sentence? Sorry, but if an American were charged throwing a shoe at an Iraqi leader he'd be locked away so fast your head would spin. He probably would be given the death penalty and America would be known as tyrants who hate other countries. But no an Arab man does it and nothing happens, we get to wait while he tries to get a lesser punishment. At least Sadaam got what he deserved.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Social Network Sites, Go on, Get Out There!

Social Networking ExplodesRegardless of whom you are, or what you do, or even how old you are, online presence is becoming more and more of a necessity. If you are a business owner online presence is imperative. Social networking sites are the fastest way to reach a broad audience and with a little effort your networking pool will get larger and larger. Since the rage of Myspace and Facebook started a new study conducted by Pew Research shows that networking sites aren’t just for teenagers and college students.

According to the study, in February 2005, only 8 percent of adult Internet users claimed to use social networking sites, but that number has increased to 35 percent as of December 2008.

The Breakdown looks like this:
• 75 percent of 18 to 24 year olds use social networking sites
• 57 percent of 25 to 34 year olds are also using sites.
• As age increases, the percentage steadily decreases
• Still, 7 percent of adults 65 and older have accounts on social networking sites
• According to the study, 89 percent of adults who use social networking sites do so for the purpose of staying in touch.

As young social networkers get older they are going to keep up with the friends they have made all over the world so the amount of older adults involvement will increase. Not to mention the fact that new networking sites are popping up all over the place and some of them like TEE BEE DEE are aimed at the more mature adults who enjoy conversation and discussing issues.

Myspace is considered the realm of young teens and high school students, yet 50 percent of adults who subscribe to social networking sites are Myspace users while Facebook is for college students, 22 percent of adults are on Facebook,and LinkedIn is meant to cater to adults. However, , with only and 6 percent of adults are on LinkedIn however as other sites become known that will change. For now Myspace is still the hottest ticket.

There just isn’t a better way to get yourself out in the public eye and meet people and show people what you do and who you are. Social networking gives you the power of the rippled effect. For each friend you meet they have friends who are going to be curious about you and so on and so on. So don’t be afraid to hop on board.

Story by: Etha Walters

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Steve Jobs temporarily steps down as Apple CEO

Steve Jobs steps down as apple ceo - by zackAs many have undoubtedly heard already, CEO of Apple Steve Jobs is taking a momentary leave of absence from Apple due to health issues. While Jobs is not leaving permanetley as of yet, he will be away from Apple for 5 months until the end of June of this year. Jobs is stepping down due to him having a hormonal disorder which makes it difficult for his body to process hormones.

In a letter Jobs wrote to the employees at Apple stating, "Unfortunatley, the steve jobscuriosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but for everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, over the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex then I originally thought."

Jobs also stated that, "In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June."

Jobs' letter also revealed that he has left Chief Operating Officer of Apple Tim Cook to be responsible for the day-to-day operations at Apple.

With Jobs stepping down temporarily this could mean drops in stocks for Apple and a decrease in product sales as well. We hope Steve Jobs has a sppedy recovery from his ailments and can soon retrurn to his position as Apple's CEO.

TweetDeck Review

Lately at work everyone has become an avid twitter user. It seems that twitter is becoming as big as email, texting, and instant messaging. Well as we all know twitter has a ton of apps available for download to improve your twitter experience.

The latest one that I have been hearing a lot of buzz around the office about is TweetDeck. This new app takes only about a minute to get up and running and is the best app that I have seen yet for twitter. The app load up on you desktop and display twitter feeds like on twitter.com. It also comes with a lot of great feautures including multiple twitter columns for things such as direct messages and replies. It also will let you tweet from the application itself and has a built in tinyurl feature. The app also comes with a feature that if you scroll over som1s icon you can hit either direct message, reply, retweet, or add the tweet to your favorites.

The layout of TweetDeck is also a very nice feature. It consists of a black background and dark grey columns and it really looks nice. I really recommend if you use twitter at all give this program a try. Not only will it save you time and a hassle it is free. Download now at http://www.tweetdeck.com/

Monday, January 12, 2009

Randy Lewis - Welcome to Xpnonex

Hello my name is Randy Lewis, I am 33 years old and live in Middletown Ohio.

Today was my first day of training at Xponex and my fist task was to read the Google SEO Starter Guide. I am very new to computers and blogging, but as I read the Starter Guide I think I am beginning to realize this may not be all that complex.

At first I was lost in trying to follow some of the new words and terms they used in the guide, then as I read more things started to make sense.

So after one day on the job I think the guide has given me a better understanding of how an internet search works and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

Thanks!
Randy Lewis

UPDATE: Randy has been with us now for almost a year and is doing a great job with our local Middletown Community News website. Randy has been networking with local business and community leaders to report their opinions on local issues. Randy and can often be found at our city building where he reports on Middletown City Council news.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Hey, my name is Zack Duncan. I'm a new member here at Xponex and as part of my training I have been asked to read the Google SEO Starter Guide and the thing I found most interesting in the guide is the section about using images in your website.

Images are of course a good thing to have on your site and a good thing to optimize. All images can have a distinct file name and "alt" attribute, two things you really should take advantage of. The "alt" attribute gives you the opportunity to specify alternative text for your image if it is not possible for it to be displayed for some reason.

But why use this attribute? Simple. If a user is viewing your site on a browser that may not support images, or is using alternative technologies, like a screen reader for example, then the contents of alt attribute provide information about the picture.

Another reason is that if you use an image as a link, then the alt text for the image will be treated somewhat the same as the anchor text of a text link. Although you shouldn't use too many images as links in your sites navigation because text links could serve the same purpose. Optimizing your image alt texts and filenames can make it easier for image search projects to understand your images better.

When using images use brief, descriptive filenames and alt texts. Do not use generic filenames or long filenames and try to refrain from cramming keywords into alt text or copying and pasting whole sections. Also try to supply alt text when using images as links but avoid using only image links for your sites navigation or writing super long alt text that could be considered spam. And lastly , store images in a directory of their own and use commonly supported file types.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Google is not stealing your system info with Chrome

Matt Cutts of Google reassures users and conspiracy-theorists in his recent blog post at http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/chrome-privacy/

Google's browser, Chrome, was released early September 2008, moving out of the Beta stage in mid-December. Upon its release, I began using Google Chrome, and it soon became my preferred browser. Early trouble with Google's own services such as Gmail were quickly resolved. I can count the sites I use that won't work with Chrome on one hand.

As with many other software applications, you can turn off the option to send crash information to developers. In Chrome, click on the wrench icon, choose Options, then the Under the Hood tab. Uncheck the option for usage stats and crash reports to be sent to Google if you are worried about what they will see. I have yet to see Chrome crash, despite my habits of having 30 tabs open at once.


SEO & Social Media

SEO & Social Media

Seventy percent of Google's algorithm is based on links and links are the heart of the internet. With this in mind, social media can be your best friend if you are looking for top rankings. When Google looks at your website or blog, it's looking to see how many people like you and they do that by looking at how many times you have been linked to other various websites and blogs. The more influential a person is, the better off you are, and with the popularity of social media, making those contacts and earning that linkage is easier than ever.

With tools like Twitter and Facebook, you have a whole new list of people to network and connect with. Build your relationships and create good content and suddenly you have a bunch of new links. It is a pretty simple concept, but it can take a little time. You don't sign up for a Twitter account and immediately have 1,000 followers or make 100 new close friends. You have to gain your followers' trust and make it clear you aren't there just to get a link on their blogs.


So, if you are new to social media or maybe you are an old hand at it and just looking for new ways to get links, here are some things you can do to help yourself succeed:

1. Make bookmarking and tagging on your website simple and easy.

2. Open your API, permit embeds and RSS.

3. Thank your linkers by listing recent links, promoting them with a nofollow tag, or even just a note of thanks.

4. Create PDFs, video files, slideshows, articles, and podcasts that travel easily.

5. Make sure your content is free and resourceful.

6. Know your audience and make sure your content reflects them.

7. Promote awareness by creating a buzz about your website or blog.

8. Stay fresh and don't be afraid to try new, innovative things.

9. Stay humble and don't develop too much of an ego when you accomplish great things.

10. Make sure you have a strategy. Become a social media leader and allow that to help you create influence and credibility.



Planning to speak at or attend a trade show or conference this year? Then call 800-736-8772 or visit RentOurProjectors.com for an affordable projector rental anywhere in the US or Canada.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Power Twitter picks up where Twitter leaves off

Narendra Rocherolle, co-founder of 83°, has updated Firefox add-on Power Twitter to version 1.0.  The 0.83 version was released under 30 Boxes in April of 2007, but updates have picked up along with the recent spikes in Twitter usage.

One add-on feature I appreciate most is that URLs are expanded to page titles, very useful when the URL  shortening services (like tinyurl) leave you with no idea where you are headed if you click the link.

Mouseover a user in your Following box and with the add-on, you will see their most recent Twitter updates.  Without the add-on, this action shows only their name.   There are no extra options  when you are viewing all of your following list, so on the Home page you are stuck with that non-customizable box of 36 users which you can mouseover, but it’s a start.  Perhaps soon we will be able to set top friends in Twitter?

Power Twitter gives your clicking finger a break by bringing Flickr and TwitPic inline.  Rather than seeing the links, the pictures appear along with the original user comment, click anywhere on the picture to see additional user-posted comments.  YouTube videos show the thumbnail before taking you to YouTube to view the video.

The small handful of users that have reviewed the add-on complain that their tweets are truncated, but a quick search using the new box the add-on gives reveals that including an “&” (ampersand) in the tweet cuts off everything after.  The developer is aware of this and a few other issues and is quickly working toward the 1.1 update.

It takes less than 10 seconds at cable modem speed to download and install the add-on.

Inline YouTube thumbnail:


Tweet as it appears without add-on:

Tweet with add-on:

Friday, January 02, 2009

Best Internet Spoof of 2008

The Promegranate NS08, iPhone Successor - Just a Spoof

 Promegranate NS08 - Best Spoof of 2008
How do you lure geeks to Nova Scotia, a place that has everything? Offer them a glimpse into the Pomengranate NS08 phone, http://www.pomegranatephone.com/

Besides being a telephone with web browsing, camera, e-mail, and an MP3 player, this device also boasts features such as harmonica, shaver, global voice translator, the ability to brew coffee, and project a 72-inch screen for movies and business presentations.

For Tech Tease of the year, I vote for the "Pomegranate Phone". The videos look so real and serious that the next thing you want to click on is the Release Date button, which splashes pomengranate guts all over your screen and outs the presentation as "a stretch". It's all really just a spoof to get you to move to Nova Scotia.

By: Mandy Van Cleave

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Some Things to Keep in Mind About Facebook's New Privacy Settings

Some Things to Keep in Mind About Facebook's New Privacy Settings


As most people know by now, Facebook recently changed how its privacy settings work, adding a new group of controls and features. And as with most anything, it has received both praise and criticism, but there is no doubt that Facebook is taking privacy seriously...even if many of their users are not.

According to Tim Sparapani, director of public policy for Facebook, over 350 million Facebook users previously did nothing to adjust privacy settings. This is why Facebook stepped in. They created a tutorial that teaches users about the new privacy settings. The settings do a lot for security and privacy but also fall short in some areas. Here are some things for Facebook users to keep in mind:

  • Applications - There are tons of Facebook applications out there and many of them can pull your user information from your friends who are using them. Before, you could choose to "not sure any information...through the Facebook API." Now your public information such as your picture, name, location, and networks, is available to application developers. But if you go under the "Applications and Websites" category and change the privacy settings under "What your friends can share about you," you should be able to prevent that.

  • Friends' Lists - With the new privacy settings, you can prevent others from viewing your friends' list. The "view friends" option has been removed from search results and you can choose to hide your friend's list by un-checking "Show my friends on my profile."

  • Content - You can now control who can view any single piece of content you post.

  • Contacts - You can also limit others' ability to contact you by going to your privacy settings and clicking "contact information," and then customize your list of people who are able to contact you.

  • Searches - Under the privacy settings, you can click on "search" and set it so that your profile or any other aspect of your Facebook account does not show up in various search engines such as Google.

  • Recommended Settings - Facebook recommends the lowest possible privacy settings at first, with the transition tool, but of course, you can fix this by simply changing them to whatever level you are comfortable with.

  • Everyone - Everyone truly means everyone, everywhere can see your information so unless that's what you're going for, you may not want to choose that option on any of your privacy settings.