Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Is Your Wireless Router Stealing Your Bandwidth?

December 14th, 2009 2 comments

keep the antenna highI thought I’d write a post explaining some of the oddities of WiFi, why your wireless Internet performance can go from great to miserable in a matter of moments, and what you can do to improve the situation when your router decides to be “decidedly unhelpful.” Wireless connections can be an invisible and frustrating part of Internet connectivity, especially when you are running online voice, video and high bandwidth video games. This post explains some of the reasons for wireless system behavior, and how to improve the behavior and reliability of your wireless system.

Could Your Router Be Working Against You, Without You Noticing? Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags:

2009-12-08 We Are The Network: How Will Google’s Personalization, Real-Time and Visual Search Announcements Change the World?

December 8th, 2009 No comments

We Are The Network logo 300“How Will Google’s Personalization, Real-Time and Visual Search Announcements Change the World?”

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)

This Tuesday, Dec 8th, we will be at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

How Will Google’s Personalization, Real-Time and Visual Search Announcements Change the World?

When I saw this cluster of announcements in the last 48 hours, I decided to write a brief thought piece about them. The three new announcements, search results that will be personalized even when you are not logged in, real-time search results and visual search, it seemed to me that these create a new ecosystem for thinking about search, potentially new search optimization automation options (read new companies or services) and potentially some changes to the way we think about advertising, marketing, person to person communication, and even how we think about ourselves.

How will these new features change the world? Will they change the way we socialize, the way we think about each other and the way we interact with each other? Where do we think these features are headed? They are early releases of capabilities – what would we guess are the next steps along each path?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags: ,

Three Announcements That Dispose Of Static SEO And Create A New Findability Optimization Game

December 7th, 2009 No comments

The Way Things Were Yesterday

In the land we’ve known, you could do static search engine optimization (SEO) of on-page elements on your web site or blog, consider strategy for offsite, tinker with it for a while, check the results, and have some confidence that the results you just saw reflected what your potential searchers would see 10 minutes later. Although people with personalization turned on may see different results, the issue of search consistency across users seems to not have been a strong focus for search engine optimization strategies to date.

Arrow race with new rulesThis Is Today

The world of yesterday is about to vaporize, due to the confluence of three Google announcements.

Personalized Search Without Login

First, the announcement that Google will present personalized search results even if you are not logged in to a Google account. This means that if you do not stay logged in to Google, your laptop search results will likely not match your desktop at work, and will likely not match your home computer, because their search history will all be different.

Now extend this to other people on the web. Their search history will likewise be different, and their work Google login may not match their personal login, if they log in at all.

All of a sudden the simplistic “one set of search results per search query” assumption is completely gone, even for users who are not logged in to a Google account.

Real-Time Search Results

Delivery of real-time search results changes the game in obvious and subtle ways. Real-time search results provision leads us even farther down the path of creating, and needing to create, time-sensitive SEO strategies.

Real-time search results for all leads to the possibility of “Just In Time SEO” (to use a phrase from the manufacturing industry). Just In Time SEO changes content in real-time in order to reposition search results dynamically, potentially just before some event or strategic initiative where you would want highly placed results.

Another side effect of real-time search results might be a drive the creation of more real-time search engine optimization monitoring services.

Will we see disruptive corporate marketing strategies that at the surface are similar to denial of service attacks? Perhaps a competitor would create a content strategy that would “lie in wait” for the hour before a major event and the dynamically disrupt the SEO positioning of your firm just in time to intercept your positioning for the event, and then disappear from view after the fact? How many other ways could dynamic repositioning be used, for good and worse?

Visual Search

Google also announced visual search, in particular on the Android phones, with the idea that you can take a picture of something, Google will analyze it and deliver search results. The “something” might be a store front, or text from a book, or other objects around you. While it is clear that this technology is at the very start of its development cycle, the implications are immense.

Do you now have to generate an SEO strategy for pages in books, or screen captures, or for your brick and mortar stores? Do you have to watch out for signage in your stores, or perhaps parts of your web site, that if captured by a camera might lead to search results pointing to your competitor’s products and services? Will we see print advertising with custom graphics designed to link to specific search results?

The area of visual search raises the concept of “Visual Search Engine Optimization”, leading us to choose graphics and video with an eye (pun only sort of not intended) to whether these images help or hinder visual search optimization.

The potential privacy and policy issues generated by extensions of this technology are extensive, not to mention some potentially wild changes to societal expectations. For instance, what if by pointing a cell camera at a person, and not even taking their picture, you could have their latest blog posts, public profile, Tweets, comments by others about them, all show up on your mobile – without even knowing their name a-priori? This would not be possible with the first release. However it is not a long stretch to mash up the current face-tagging technology with this sort of search to enable such a feature.

This will be interesting.

Killing Two Birds With One Stone: Why Page Speed’s Influence On PageRank Is Strategic To Google

November 28th, 2009 4 comments


Final edit updated Nov 28, 2009 22:40

Random Connections

Some days I’ll be thinking about a topic, and suddenly an unexpected connection appears. That just happened as I was reading two posts, one about potential changes to PageRank and another about a new protocol that Google is pitching to speed up web page loads. The PageRank discussion seemed to be completely about the marketing impact of this change on search engine optimization strategies, while the protocol discussions were centered on technology and global standards issues. It seems that these two apparently separate things may be very tightly coupled indeed.

PageRank, Page Speed And Marketing Effects

PageRank is supposed to measure the authority of a page, to determine whether
it is “the best” trusted and primary resource to answer the user’s search query. It is hard to fathom how response speed has anything to do with authenticity, authority, correctness of data or trustworthiness. It seems to be much more strongly linked to the cash position of the person or organization who authored the page, and how much they have invested in having the right page design, hardware and network infrastructure (either their own or hosted) to provide fast response.

One quasi-altruistic reason for adding or emphasizing page load in the PageRank calculations may be to nudge the web community to think more about page load speed when designing sites. However Read more…

Would adding mobile Wi-Fi to the city transit system increase ridership?

November 14th, 2009 1 comment

City BusToday at the MassDOT Developer Conference we got to talking about the goal of changing the image of buses and other mass transit to be the solution of choice for a wider spectrum of people.  Lost time is sometimes the reason that people will drive instead of taking public transportation.  It often takes longer to get to your goal using mass transit, and while en-route, you often can’t get much done, other than people watching or reading.

Then this little idea appeared…

Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,

10 Must-Do Security Checks To Prevent Virtual World Event Disruption

November 13th, 2009 2 comments

LockVirtual world event management is, in the large, similar to real life event management. You’ve got to make sure that guests and performers are lined up, that marketing and advertising is effective, and if it is a broadcast event, that the technical and support staff logistics have been completed. Security is a bit different in virtual world settings, and requires special handling in order to avoid enabling disruptions at your event. This post focuses on some specifics for Second Life™ security management; however, the principles are similar for other virtual world platforms.

Event Disruption Categories

  • Purposeful region crashes (exploiting a bug to cause the region to crash “on demand”)
  • Littering (leaving objects in inconvenient places, placing them out during an event, or moving them around in the way of the event)
  • Pollution (planting a particle generator that creates a spray of smoke, fog or distasteful imagery)
  • Disruptive chat or voice participation

Must-Do Security Checks

Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,

2009-11-10 We Are The Network: Is Google Destined To Become Evil?

November 8th, 2009 3 comments

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)WeAreTheNetwork-istock-titled.001.150x88

This Tuesday, November 10, we will be at the Epoch Institute in Second Life
Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

“Is Google Destined To Become Evil?”

In Google’s 2004 SEC registration statement was this statement from the founders of Google, explaining the new pact that Google would make with the world, in order to ease concerns about privacy, control and security related to the services that were being constructed, as well as others to come later on. This statement has been widely referred to as Google’s goal to “Don’t Be Evil”:


Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company. Google users trust our systems to help them with important decisions: medical, financial and many others. Our search results are the best we know how to produce. They are unbiased and objective, and we do not accept payment for them or for inclusion or more frequent updating. We also display advertising, which we work hard to make relevant, and we label it clearly. This is similar to a well-run newspaper, where the advertisements are clear and the articles are not influenced by the advertisers’ payments. We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see.


We aspire to make Google an institution that makes the world a better place. In pursuing this goal, we will always be mindful of our responsibilities to our shareholders, employees, customers and business partners. With our products, Google connects people and information all around the world for free. We are adding other powerful services such as Gmail, which provides an efficient one gigabyte Gmail account for free. We know that some people have raised privacy concerns, primarily over Gmail’s targeted ads, which could lead to negative perceptions about Google. However, we believe Gmail protects a user’s privacy. By releasing services, such as Gmail, for free, we hope to help bridge the digital divide. AdWords connects users and advertisers efficiently, helping both. AdSense helps fund a huge variety of online web sites and enables authors who could not otherwise publish. Last year we created Google Grants—a growing program in which hundreds of non-profits addressing issues, including the environment, poverty and human rights, receive free advertising. And now, we are in the process of establishing the Google Foundation. We intend to contribute significant resources to the foundation, including employee time and approximately 1% of Google’s equity and profits in some form. We hope someday this institution may eclipse Google itself in terms of overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems.


Google is not a conventional company. Eric, Sergey and I intend to operate Google differently, applying the values it has developed as a private company to its future as a public company. Our mission and business description are available in the rest of this prospectus; we encourage you to carefully read this information. We will optimize for the long term rather than trying to produce smooth earnings for each quarter. We will support selected high-risk, high-reward projects and manage our portfolio of projects. We will run the company collaboratively with Eric, our CEO, as a team of three. We are conscious of our duty as fiduciaries for our shareholders, and we will fulfill those responsibilities. We will continue to strive to attract creative, committed new employees, and we will welcome support from new shareholders. We will live up to our “don’t be evil” principle by keeping user trust and not accepting payment for search results. We have a dual class structure that is biased toward stability and independence and that requires investors to bet on the team, especially Sergey and me.”

As Google has grown, it has accumulated and centralized a previously unknown level of personal information, made it eminently searchable in seconds, and provided numerous services that are focused on accomplishing these goals. At the same time, the willingness of people to freely share personal information (often in return for services that have the appearance of being free to the individual) is based on a generalized belief that Google will forever hold to its mantra of “do no evil”.  Is this a reasonable assumption?  What if that assumption, that millions of us have taken as a reasonable risk, turns out to be false?

A phrase that appears as part and parcel of corporate and political governance discussions is “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”.  Is Google on the path to absolute power (or perhaps has reached it already?), and if so, what would stop this long known maxim from exerting itself over time?

In this session we will discuss the meaning of absolute power in the Internet age, how Google fits into the picture of privacy, security and trust, and discuss some possible scenarios, both good and bad, for how Google’s continued expansion might play out.

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon!

Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,

2009-10-06 We Are The Network: Fair Use vs. Digital Rights Management

October 4th, 2009 No comments

2009-10-06 We Are The Network:  Fair Use vs. Digital Rights Management

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)WeAreTheNetwork-istock-titled.001.150x88

This Tuesday, October 6, we will be at the Epoch Institute in Second Life
Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

Copyright, fair use and Digital Rights Management (DRM) have consistently been key issues as more content of all sorts is developed and distributed in digital form.  Digital works of all kinds run headlong into the tension between fair use and philosophies, strategies and technologies for how to control content use.  In this session we will explore the positions around fair use and digital rights management.  No doubt, the mere topic of this session will draw many comments from all sides, and potentially some fairly animated positions.  We will approach the topic from a global perspective, as this is one of those topics that reaches far past any one technology.

There are many perspectives and camps of interest involved with this topic area, and many “not so complete” answers.  Let’s dig in to discuss and attempt to better understand some of the key issues.

Please note:  The reading links provided are to provide some background, with the idea that any and everything presented in them is up for discussion and analysis.  Please do not assume any assumed intent or presumed conclusion by the links choices or the sequence, and feel free to bring your own references to the discussion as well.

See you Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon!

Read more…

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,