Monthly Archives: February 2011

Google’s Search Engine Updated: Original Content Preferred


Anyone who follow’s Google’s updates would know, Google is on a content farm stampout rampage. Here’s a short timeline so far:

31st Jan 2011: Google rolled out their first changes in a slew of moves to curb the prevalence of content farm thrash. It affected an estimated 0.5% of search results.

25th Feb 2011: Google updates its search algorithm to be heavily biased towards original content.

[Placeholder for further updates]

This is a huge boost for many ad supported websites. According to Downloadsquad, a website featuring worthy downloads and fun time-waster apps, this has boosted their traffic quite significantly. They regularly produce original, useful content that gets plagiarized often enough. Google’s recent moves have allowed them to recapture traffic that was lost to blatant plagiarism.

In its own way, Google is making the internet a better place. A place where content producers get the credit and traffic they deserve, and audiences reach the content producers directly, where all enquiries and the likes can be addressed.

On the whole, this looks like a smart move from Google to further reinforce its already vice-like grip on information indexing and retrieval. Bing and Yahoo! (both owned by the other software behemoth Microsoft) will need to buck up (setting yourselves as default top-right-hand-data-field search engines don’t really count in this respect) if they are going to pose any real threat to Google Search’s dominance.

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Military aircraft fire at Libya crowds

66857-demonstrators-protest-against-libyas-muammar-gaddafi-outside-the-libyaFiring upon their own countrymen with Apaches and various other aircraft, mowing down civilians indiscriminately, locking down all forms of communication including land lines and the internet. A rebellion quelled this way will not rest easy. A government like this is not sustainable.

They have only given their citizenry even more reason to revolt. Even behind the veil of politics, the loathsome mug of oppressive dictatorship reveals itself. This does look like a massacre in the making.

The two fighter planes that landed in Malta in brave defiance, flown by two senior Libyan air force officials who were ordered to bomb civilians, indicate that even its military is fragmented. This is no Egypt, and has the potential become a lot worse.

Edit: Current Death Toll 160 (Arabiya Television) look here for live coverage of the unrest in Middle East.

If there is anyone who wants to make the case for Colonel Qaddafi, I, and, I think, the international community would like to hear it.

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Internet Killed The Radio Star

antique radioThe common consensus is that commercial radio is dying, and who can blame them?  With Podcasts and integrated devices, more and more people are listening to more of what they want to hear.

Internet and satellite radio, podcasting, high-definition radio and mobile audio services are all revolutionizing a radio industry that remained virtually unchanged for a century.

Increasingly, advertisers are moving towards online venues to reach their target audience. This is primarily driven by the increasing move towards online media for both news and entertainment among audiences. A look at advertising revenue statistics will make it clear:

stats radio vs online

Is the internet killing radio then?

Commercial radio as we know it, I think, is in its eventual demise, but radio is evolving to the situation. All the official radio stations in Singapore, for example, have online streaming services, with 91.3FM offering high quality radio that actually sounds better than their radio transmission in some parts of the country.

It may take on various different forms, but the idea of radio: a medium that allows broadcasting to a large audience in real time would not go away easily. It may be repackaged online or through a satellite, but the bottom line is the essence of radio, the idea of it, is not going anywhere anytime soon.

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Aaand its back. UberTwitter is UberSocial!


UberSocial downloads are all working once more, after users struggled for 2 days to get their Uber fix. All issues with the Twitter executives should be settled. Get your UberSocial for Blackberry download here!

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Are you well-versed in comment etiquette?

Everyone on the blogosphere NEEDS to read this.

Are you well-versed in comment etiquette? Which comment would you rather receive? “Great post! Check out my blog at” or “Well said! I know exactly what you mean about X, and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks so. I would even say that A, B, C! Your candor is greatly appreciated.” The second one, of course. Why? For one thing, it follows the etiquette guidelines below. But even more importantly, it was written with the intent to forge a relationship, not … Read More

via News

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Ubertwitter is now Ubersocial

Earlier today, one of the top applications that Blackberry users worldwide use to access Twitter, Ubertwitter, was blocked by Twitter executives for breach of policies.ubertwitter

Long story short: Ubertwitter is now Ubersocial. Get your download here! (iPhone users can use it too!)

There had been much controversy and speculation, but this is what happened, right from the horse’s mouth. There is no “war” or what not, just a simple request for a change from Twitter to Ubermedia. Here’s what Bill Gross, CEO of Ubermedia had to say:

PASADENA, CA – February 18, 2011 – Early Friday morning, Twitter shut off access to its service by several of our Twitter client applications: UberTwitter, Twidroyd, and UberCurrent. Twitter then notified us that they believed we were in violation of several provisions of their terms of service.

We were immediately in touch with Twitter, and the changes they asked us to make were very small. As a result, we have completed the changes, and new apps are currently being posted to their respective stores. Twitter has assured us that as soon as those changes were complete, they would reactivate our applications.

Twitter also asked us to modify the name of UberTwitter. We began a process of changing the name three weeks ago by polling our users, and we’ve decided based on their input to change the product name to UberSocial, which we completed today.

To our millions of loyal users, we appreciate your patience during this temporary period. We look forward to continuing our innovations on the Twitter platform.

Bill Gross, CEO
UberMedia, Inc.

Hope that clears everyone’s doubts. It does not make sense for Twitter to shut down clients that make their service popular, as such, why would anyone propagate news (and why anyone doesn’t give a second thought about it) that there is a “war” between Twitter and Ubermedia escapes me.

Note: Quote taken from Huffington Post

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E-Books and Paperbacks: A Biased Comparison

On January 28th 2011, at’ebook-vs-books quarterly call, the US-based multinational electronic commerce company announced that the sale of ebooks have finally overtaken that of paperbacks. 

This hardly comes as a surprise as it has been widely known that it was mostly the medium and not the content itself that was a problem with e-books. With the increasing popularity of tablets such as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and indeed,’s very own Kindle, it is but a matter of time that e-books will see its popularity increase. It has taken its time, but if there is one thing that an e-book doesn’t have, it’s shelf life; properly preserved in the ‘1’s and ‘0’s that are the DNA of everything digital, these e-books can literally last till the end of recorded, and perhaps beyond.

I read a fair bit, and most of what I read is still in paper form. One fine afternoon, over coffee, a friend asks, what does anyone want with a hunkering paperback when there are e-books available? Why would anyone pay for something they can easily obtain for a fraction of the price?

My initial reaction was that I have absolutely no idea! On further thought though, I could come up with a few reasons why there are still 100 million paperbacks for every 87 million Kindle e-books being sold. What is the case for the paperback?

It’s physical. This is the one point that e-books have zero ground of contention. E-books sell because they take up no space on your bookshelf, paperbacks for quite the opposite reason. One can pick up a paperback, feel as the pages brush past the fingertips, pack it into a luggage bag and there it will be, until the owner decides to move it. When you buy a book, you own it. Down to the very pulp that makes the paper, is yours and cannot be ‘Ctrl+C’, ‘Ctrl+P’ into someone else’s backpack. Its yours, to have and to hold, till death (or silverfish, or termites) do you part.

It’s personal. A college yearbook with memos from ‘the fellas’, an autographed biography from one’s personal hero, a piano score with pencil scrawls. The capacity for a paperback to be infinitely personal and its inability to be duplicated is what brings it novelty and value.

That said, one must admit that the generic paperback will eventually become obsolete. This is, however, nothing to get downcast about; changing forms is what books do and they do it well. Books have been written alternatively on stone, clay, tree bark, wax, tablets and papyrus, as volumes, codices, scrolls and individual leafs.

The Printed Book, as we know it, only saw light in 1455, shortly after the invention of the printing press. In the long run, the paperback will be replaced.

Is this the death of print media? It is perhaps in its initial state of demise, and without a doubt will eventually be replaced by a much more evolved form of distribution.

Silicon of cellulose, books will always capture the hearts and minds of man and child, that, will not change.

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Obama Shows Support Through Facebook


It’s a parody, but also a constant reminder of Facebook’s far-reaching influence.

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Facebook: Colonizing The Web, One “Like” At A Time


Facebook’s “Like” button. Does not look like much does it?

This little feature is one of the catalysts that propelled Facebook to verb-like (as in ‘I’ll Facebook him’) prominence on the internet today. Not convinced?  Hear me out.

Sometime in 2008, many users were lamenting that Facebook was a “walled garden”, that it did not allow interaction beyond its monochromatic blue boarders. Conventional wisdom in the technology industry was that, and it stands true yet, that walled garden type technology will eventually see their users leave and seek greener pastures.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and his team were well aware of the problems that walled garden technologies present, but they did not seek to tear down those walls. Oh no, that was way too much trouble. Instead in Febuary 2009, they simply expanded those walls and invited the rest of the Web to come in and play.

They introduced the “Like” feature.

That was an ingenious move, from there onward, users will be interacting with Facebook even when you are not at To web developers, this was a win-win. For years and years, they have wrecked their brains thinking up ways to make their content more “social”, fully knowing that it was a sure way to create traffic (comments on blog posts and web forums literally operate on this principle). Suddenly, they could potentially have the entire Facebook population within their reach. 190-million

Now, we all know that Facebook was not the first to create plug-ins like these. Yahoo, Twitter and Digg have tried, with only budging success. What makes the idea tick was the staggering growth of Facebook. It currently has 500 million users, and that number is growing at a faster and faster rate. If we were to look at a graph plotting Facebook’s user population anuclear chain reactiongainst time, it would resemble that of a nuclear chain reaction before reaching critical mass (Fig. 33.3).

One of the founding principles of Facebook was to be useful, and in this respect, they have fulfilled it through and through. Not only have they enabled web developers to extend their reach, they have also allowed themselves to easily track user preferences, which is key to advertising. It is their ability to sift out such win-wins that will surely drive the company to further success.

At the point of writing, Google is still the undisputed king of the internet search and information profiling. Google, the one that everyone turns to in order to make sense of diarrhea of information that is the internet. Will Facebook overtake Google in that respect? It is not unlikely, but it would take a lot of effort on Facebook’s part, but when they do, it would be with astonishing, even horrifying personal accuracy.

What Facebook has succeeded in doing thus far is priming itself to be as ubiquitous and essential as Google, which in itself is no mean feat. The world’s biggest social network won’t be going away, and you, the Facebook user, are going to see to that, one “Like” at a time.

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Top Gear to Mexico: Sentimos Amigos


This isn’t the first time Top Gear presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May,  have offended anyone.

In 2008, hundreds sent complaints to BBC regarding a comment by Jeremy Clarkson about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes.

More recently, the program was criticized by many, mostly Mexicans, for making, in the words of the Mexican Ambassador to London, Eduardo Medina Mora, “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating”” remarks about Mexicans.

In an apology by the BBC to the Ambassador and indeed the people of Mexico, it have said that the comments were “rude” and “mischievous”, but had no “vindictiveness” behind them. Also, it has added that making jokes based on stereotypes was part of British humour. The Brits have constantly derided themselves as poor cooks and worse romantics.

Perhaps the people who were offended were not regular audiences of the program, or they would be familiar with the style of presentation that have made it such a hit in over 100 countries.

We ought to all take ourselves a little less seriously. This is not to say that the Mexicans have no reason to take offense, indeed they do, but only if they choose to. If we can all take a stab at ourselves from time to time, the world might turn out to be a livelier place.

Besides, if Jeremy, Richard and James weren’t this quintessentially British, Top Gear would not be where it is now. Keep it up, I say.

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