Archive | January, 2006
January 31, 2006

WordPress 2.0.1

Matt has announced the release of WordPress 2.0.1 ie. the first point release of the 2.* series of my favourite blogging tool.
According to the announcement all the major issues have been resolved and 114 bugs have been fixed. Not bad in 30 days!
Some of the highlights:

  • You can now specify an upload directory, and whether to use date-based storage or not.
  • Caching has been fixed under certain PHP enviroments.
  • Permalinks have been fixed for weird enviroments as well.
  • XML-RPC uploading works.
  • Compatibility with older versions of PHP.
  • Several WYSIWYG fixes and cleanups.
  • Imports now use much less memory.
  • Now works with MySQL 5.0 in strict mode.

I'd expect their download servers will be hammered for the next few days :)
Well done to all involved!

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January 31, 2006

Easy Ubuntu

I mentioned a handy little tool I came across for installing a variety of useful apps on my ubuntu laptop recently. Paul O'Malley has pointed me in the direction of an alternative called (strangely enough) Easy Ubuntu
It doesn't offer as wide a selection of applications, but it probably does more than enough for most people:

Easy Ubuntu allows you to:

  • Add extra repositories for installing a lot of additional software.
  • Install multimedia codecs for reading all videos, musics and DVDs.
  • Activate the "audio preview" feature in Nautilus.
  • Install the most needed Firefox plugins: Flash, Java, Real, videos. Adds Microsoft fonts, GNOME's Firefox buttons, officials Firefox icons.
  • Install archiving support for RAR and ACE.
  • Install the most used peer-to-peer softwares: aMule (a clone of eMule) and Azureus (for Bittorent).
  • Install the Skype voice-over-IP software. (Warning: at this time Skype is not packaged for Breezy so install don't work)
  • Num lock: Active the num lock at system startup.
  • Replace the GNOME foot logo with Ubuntu's logo.
  • Install the NVIDIA or ATI driver for 3D support.

More information on its creator's site

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January 31, 2006

Adsense For Blogs

A few months ago I mentioned the adsense "heat map", which is a handy graphic representation of the best performing "zones" of a website in terms or clicks.
The official adsense blog carries some tips on maximising your blog's revenue potential through applying some basic techniques:

  • Choose the right ad formats
  • Place ads where your readers will notice
  • Improve targeting
  • Customize your ad colors
  • Use channels to track your ads' success (or failure)

Most of this is probably "old news" to those of you who have already invested time and effort in optimising your blogs, but it's still nice to see a brief summary.

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January 31, 2006

Agricantus

While visiting friends in Palermo I was handed a tape by Palermo group Agricantus. I'd never heard of them nor had I ever heard any of their music. I fell in love with the rich sound immediately. When I got back to Milan I scoured the record shops for CDs and was able to pick up a pretty good one of them in concert, which I seem to have misplaced somewhere. That's one of the annoying things about moving around a lot - you tend to lose track of your CDs if you aren't very careful.
In any case I decided to treat myself to some replacement CDs over Christmas and Agricantus was on the top of my list. The CD finally turned up this morning, so I spent lunchtime and most of this evening listening to it.
If you want to get a "feel" for their music try their official site. There are some samples in the section "Audio/Video"
I'm currently listening to this album:
Best of Agricantus [Us Import]
If anyone is feeling generous it's my birthday soon :)

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January 30, 2006

Web Development Basic Reading

I was chatting to an entrepeneur early this evening who has some really interesting ideas. He knows his business area very well. He's familiar with his target market and he has managed to win recognition at various levels for his business acumen and marketing skills.

(more…)

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January 30, 2006

Broadband ISP acting smart?

According to a post on Jason's blog (welcome to the blogosphere by the way!) Irish ISP Smart Telecom have decided to block port 25.
It seems that the new policy affects all customers unless they have a static IP and specifically request that the restriction be lifted.
It's an interesting and quite brave move for an Irish ISP to make and probably won't be the last one.
From the point of view of hosting providers this could hail a "sea change" with regard to SMTP usage and access, as clients will be forced to use their ISP's outbound mail server.
While this may cause issues for "domestic" subscribers it probably won't have any serious long-term effects on business users.
EDIT: Wrong link! Well spotted

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January 30, 2006

Bad Language

Anyone who knows me well is probably aware that I have a strong dislike for badly written English and have little or no time for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
If you are selling a product or service then you need to convince people that you are a professional and take pride in the presentation of the product. The slicker and more professional the package the more likely people are to feel confident in it.
These would seem to be universally accepted truths.
So would you really want to spend thousands with a company that cannot even spell their main service?
While browsing the web over the weekend I came across a couple of sites that were shockingly bad.
If you sell "search engine optimisation" the least you could do is check the spelling of the word "optimisation". If you aren't sure there is this wonderful invention called a dictionary.
Of course not everybody speaks English as their mother tongue, so you have to make allowances in some cases.
But how does this affect your online marketing with search engines?
I mentioned a study previously that demonstrated the value of "good English".
Of course that study did not take into account the value of typos. You've seen the Google spelling correction tool?
Well, have you seen its data?
Quite scary! So maybe there is a place, albeit a rather strange one, for bad language online.
Found via

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January 29, 2006

Swiss Registry to Drop Pricing

The Swiss domain registry has announced that it will be dropping its pricing on new registrations from March 1 2006:

SWITCH, the registry for domain names ending in.ch and .li, is discontinuing the registration fee of CHF 40 as of 1 March 2006. The annual fee of CHF 35 will remain unchanged.
This price reduction has been made possible through the continuing growth in the number of domain names and the introduction of the new registration application on 1 October 2005, which will reduce the extra outlay involved in registrations. "We naturally wish to pass these cost savings on to our customers", explains Urs Eppenberger, new Head of "Internet Domains" at SWITCH.
For domain names that are registered up to and including 28 February 2006, SWITCH will charge the registration fee of CHF 40 that has been applicable to date.

Full story here via

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January 29, 2006

Theme Reverted

I've read all the comments posted about my choice of theme and I've been left in a bit of a quandry.
It's obvious that the theme I chose wasn't really "working" for a lot of readers and I wasn't overly happy with some of the features either, so I've decided to revert to the previous theme that I was using.
I want a new theme for this blog, so I'll probably have to get someone to design it for me taking into account my requirements and some of the very good feedback I got from regulars.

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January 29, 2006

Domain / Hosting Business Blogs

I've added a few more blogs to planet. If you know of any blogs that carry relevant content please let me know

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