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Terso IT http://terso.co.nz Web Development in the 21st Century Wed, 27 Jun 2012 18:49:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Google Nexus 7 Rumour http://terso.co.nz/google-nexus-7-rumour/ http://terso.co.nz/google-nexus-7-rumour/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 06:50:28 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=161 Google Nexus 7″ Tablet for US$199? YES PLEASE!!

Leaked specs according to Gizmodo: built by Asus, with a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, GeForce 12-core GPU and 1GB of RAM with two different storage variants: 8GB (US$199, or about NZ$250 at the current exchange rate) and 16GB (US$249 / NZ $315). Will have NFC (probably Google Wallet only in US for now).

Screen is an IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle, running a resolution of 1280×800. As a Nexus will be the first to run Android Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)

Good timing too, as I was just about to buy a secondhand HP TouchPad from TradeMe as a cheap option to get a fairly powerful Android tablet (TouchPad runs WebOS but options exist for puting Android on it). But I suppose now I will just have to find the will power to wait, as that is going to be incredible value for that price point!

Android tablets sure are becoming ridiculously cheap: http://micgadget.com/25992/seriously-65-usd-is-enough-for-a-7-inch-android-ics-tablet/ Although I wouldn’t buy that, I already have one NZ$99 Android tablet! (but I’m sure this one would be a massive improvement upon my 18 month old tablet, “molasses” would be the best word to describe it)

UPDATE: got a video on it now!

UPDATE2: darn, and some time after I added the video here Google made it private (until after the official launch I guess. Double triple edit: yup, I’m right as it is back now!).

UPDATE3: image from modaco.

UPDATE4: found a duplicate of the video I mentioned earlier.

UPDATE5: Ha, I’m following the Nexus 7 a bit obsessively now as I’m watching live it be announced at Google I/O

Ahhh… Australia will be one of the first countries it is available from right now! I think I’ll ship it to my Uncle’s in Sydney and get him to bring it over on his next regular visit to Auckland. Also, those earlier prices I wrote down are now confirmed (yessss!).

UPDATE6: Sooo envious of all 6,000 people at Google I/O! As every one of them just got Nexus Phone, Nexus Q, AND a Nexus 7!

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Kim Dotcom has been bailed http://terso.co.nz/kim-dotcom-bail/ http://terso.co.nz/kim-dotcom-bail/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 05:45:32 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=149 Glad Kim Dotcom has finally been released on bail, but still the appalling abusive of civil rights carry on in new forms: he won’t be allowed access to the internet!! Could you imagine how outrageous it would be if a person isn’t allowed access to electricity? In a decade or two we’re going to look back on this with as much disbelief as if no electricity had been a condition of his bail.

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Socialnomics http://terso.co.nz/socialnomics/ http://terso.co.nz/socialnomics/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 03:36:46 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=143 Saw an interesting video on Kiwiblog today, while to people like myself who live 24/7 online a fair amount of it was old news but it did still have a lot there that was interesting enough I found myself making heavy use of the pause button to take it all in:

This clip is already over half a year old and many of the facts are out of date, for instance this advert below was references as having 37 million views when now just this one version (and I’m sure there are many others floating around with millions of views when you total all of them up too) here now has over 51 million views (which reinforces a point I believe they were making, thanks to YouTube your adverts can be a lot more enduring than simple the few seconds of viewing they got in that one ad slot):

 

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Spammers/phishers exploiting Christchurch Earthquake Tragedy http://terso.co.nz/spammers-phishers-exploiting-christchurch-earthquake-tragedy/ http://terso.co.nz/spammers-phishers-exploiting-christchurch-earthquake-tragedy/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 05:44:16 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=105 Discovered today this sad email in my spam folder from earlier this month:

 

from ANZ – Personal – Online Banking <help-desk@anz.co.nz>
to my-personal-email-account@gmail.com
date 2 March 2011 03:56
subject ANZ Internet Banking Account Security Update.(Canterbury Earthquake Information)

Dear ANZ Customer,

Due to the Canterbury Earthquake,we have lost some of our customers internet banking details,to recover,we are usinf our old login page,so please click the link below to enter your Customer Registration Number and Password details correctly so we can help you update your account:

CLICK HERE TO UPDATE

PLEASE NOTE:CUSTOMER REGISTRATION NUMBER AND PASSWORD CORRECTLY FOR PROPER ACCOUNT UPDATE.

Regards,
Joanne
Internet Banking Support Officer
ANZ Internet Banking

 

Yes, those images really are hotlinked from the actual ANZ website. I suppose in an attempt to make it seem more “official” (and save on bandwidth when you’re spamming out to millions of people….).

Still, was more than obvious enough to realise it was spam (other than it being in my spam folder in the first place! Gmail has great filters) because I’m not even an ANZ customer!

Quite sicking that people will take advantage of this tradegy like this, but I guess where there is money to be made scum will be attracted to it.

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WordPress PayPal Plugins? http://terso.co.nz/wordpress-paypal-plugins/ http://terso.co.nz/wordpress-paypal-plugins/#comments Mon, 17 Jan 2011 03:20:55 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=123 Needed Paypal added to a client’s WordPress site,  so naturally the first thing you do when wanting an addition to a WordPress site is to check out the plugins… which I did without a second a thought because there are *always* heaps of WordPress plugins for anything you could imagine, but in this instance a bad move :-P

As a couple of google searches later after seeing WordPress.com’s own recommendation I thought I might as well check out PayPal.com and sure enough there is under Merchant Services an option to create complete (with all the needed code) for a simple PayPal button (with only a slight tweak if you don’t want a Donate button as I for instance don’t want in this case, so I find the link instead under Website Payments Standard).

My recommendation don’t bother with a plugin unless you really need to use shortcodes (because copy and paste is too tough for you! As I’m a little surprised how often some of those plugins are downloaded considering how little functionality they add) or you need some other more advanced feature (not in this case, a simple button is all that was wanted).

 

Conclusion: a reminder to myself  to K.I.S.S.

(keep it simple stupid! d’oh)

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Improve SEO By Getting Customer Complaints! http://terso.co.nz/improve-seo-by-getting-customer-complaints/ http://terso.co.nz/improve-seo-by-getting-customer-complaints/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 20:41:52 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=78 Incredibly this has worked! Although when you think about it makes sense, as lots of people link to you when they complain about your site.

Surprisingly really I’d never thought of it, I guess it is because I just think this is so unethical the possibility of this tactic never even entered my mind…

Sadly/fortunately this doesn’t work now, as Google has adjusted their algorithm for it which is how I found out about this story:

Official Google Blog: Being bad to your customers is bad for business

The New York Times drew Google’s attention to the problem.

According to the Times story, the owner of DecorMyEyes.com boosted his site’s prominence in search rankings by generating negative reviews from customers. And the prominent placement of the site in search rankings generated more business, so says the owner of DecorMyEyes.

Naturally Google hasn’t revealed the details of the adjustment to its algorithms, but I dare say we’ll be noticing it? And with time hints might come out from the shifts in the rankings as to exactly what they might have done.

Updates:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373743,00.asp

Riiiiight, so the solution to the flaw with google (in their search results) is to use another google product?!?!

Madness!

Analysis of backlinks:

http://www.markosweb.com/www/decormyeyes.com/#backwardslinks

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How to Outsource: 2 kinds, which are you? http://terso.co.nz/how-to-outsource-2-kinds-which-are-you/ http://terso.co.nz/how-to-outsource-2-kinds-which-are-you/#comments Thu, 02 Dec 2010 02:59:42 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=46 Having trouble with your outsourcing? You could have misconceptions on what outsourcing can do for you. As I’ve been browsing a few forums lately and seeing a lot of people are having serious trouble when they outsource, while other outsourcers rave about how awesome outsourcing is.

Why the difference?

I think it is because you can break up outsourcing into two broad categories:

1) You outsource what you can NOT do. And this gets the job DONE, but at a premium cost to you.

2) You outsource what you CAN DO, but you are able to get it done a lot FASTER AND CHEAPER than you could yourself. As you can now massively scale up what you were doing before.

Which one are you?

I think most people’s problem falls into being (1) but they wanted to be (2), and they didn’t realise there is a difference when they outsource. As they think they can simple outsource to somebody in India for a couple of dollars an hour then all their problems will be solved.

There is nothing wrong with being (1) if you accept the pros and cons that come with that kind of outsourcing.

For instance perhaps you want to create an ecommerce site which you need a shopping cart and payment gateway set up. As you have no experience with this you decide to outsource it. This puts you in (2), and it can make sense a perhaps it might be very difficult for you to do and this can save a lot of your valuable time.

But if this is just the first ecommerce store of thirty that you plan to make then you should stop and think if you really are going the right way about this. As even if you still decide to outsource, simply making the first one yourself will then make the next 29 which are outsourced go by much more smoothly.

As you will know exactly how you’ll want it, you’ll be able to give much detailed instructions to your outsourcee, also you’ll be less likely to get the wool pulled over your eyes by them if you have an understanding of how to do it yourself.

It is better to waste some of your time learning how to do it right, than wasting lots of money for somebody else to eventually learn how to do it right. Because they don’t have the same incentive to learn, instead they will just “do the job” (even if you’re telling them the wrong details of the job). The feedback loop is much faster and tighter when you are doing it, as you have a strong incentive to get it right.

When it is going to cost you lots of money, do something wrong slowly (yourself) rather than fast (outsourcing)…  once you’ve hit the nail on the head yourself and reaching all your goals (daily revenue / visitor numbers / google rankings / conversion rates / etc) then you can look at doing it faster via outsourcing as you’ve now ironed out all the wrinkles of what can go wrong (hopefully) and you’re now free to introduce to the mix another variable (i.e. risk): outsourcing.

Interestingly I’ve never seen an instance of a person being an outsourcing type (2) and being unhappy because they expect the results of (1)! I’d say this is because people are normally quite clear on what they can do, and don’t mistakenly outsource it thinking they can’t do it.

Of course my example of a shopping cart & payment gateway is but one example, you can apply this to anything you want to outsource cheaply:

Likewise with article writing, do you know exactly what you want in a good article and its purpose? Keyword density, buying phrases, psychology, length, etc etc… without this you can’t CLEARLY tell the writer what you want, and you’ll waste a lot of money and time in the process.
Same is true with backlinks, do you know: where, how many, what kind, and what rate of addition they should be? If you don’t, you can’t tell them how to do it. And so on and so forth.
Remember if you are not fully using your expertise and knowledge when you hire your outsourcee (in terms of selecting, giving instructions/direction, and managing) then you are instead paying a premium for his/her knowledge of these areas instead (or even worse… not paying the premium and not getting the job done to the level your desire).

A final point I’d like to make is those outsourcers who get the very best (in terms of cheapest and fastest) out of their outsourcing will take an active hands on approach to their outsourcees, treating them more as an employee than an outsourcee.

Your outsourcee will generally only be as good as you let them be, give very clear instructions in how/where/why/when you want it done for the best results. Teach and show your outsourcee if need be.

Sometimes you will even find yourself spending far more time on the outsourcing than if you had done the job yourself! However the same care you’d shown in carefully laying out the instructions for one outsourcee can now be used word for word with another outsourcee, and another, and another…  Thus you can see how the power of massively scaling up is one of the strengths of outsourcing.

In summary:

If you fall into (2) then you are much more able to give them very clear directions. If you fall into (1) then you just have to accept the cost (& benefits of not needing to learn it) or upskill yourself to be (2).

And remember the saying in poker: ” if you don’t know who the dummy is at the table, it is you!” Likewise if you don’t know if you are (1) or (2) then you’re (1)!  [and at a much higher risk of being ripped off... hence you have to accept that risk or payer a higher premium for lower risk and relative assurance of higher quality]

Moral of the story: learn as much as you can, it will help you even when you’re not directly using! (such indirectly via outsourcing)

Update:

I came across one of Paul Graham’s essays again (The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups). I thought it would be good to note down here as is relevant to this and Paul Graham is a man I highly respect. Read in particular points 5 (Hiring Bad Programmers) and 6 (Choosing the Wrong Platform).

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Windows Live Spaces is Dead, Long Live WordPress! http://terso.co.nz/windows-live-spaces-is-dead-long-live-wordpress/ http://terso.co.nz/windows-live-spaces-is-dead-long-live-wordpress/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 09:10:33 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=59 It has been announced last week the Windows Live Spaces will be no more (formerly called MSN Spaces when it was launched six years ago). Instead all future users will be sent to WordPress.com (and current users will migrate to there as well). Here is the announcement at WordPress, and at Microsoft.

Migration to WordPress.com

In essence this is Microsoft giving up on the blogging/social space. This is being spun as a good thing of course by the MS PR people, as them focusing on their core competencies while still giving their users the best experiences possible.

Which is well and true, with the massive empire that MS has they have many many areas they can put their resources in to instead. And WordPress certainly will give their users the best possible experience, and this success for them with this announcement is just further evidence of this (seriously, if you’re not using WordPress already as your CMS platform I suggest checking it out. It is constantly improving in many ways, their latest major release of 3.0 certainly leapt ahead by leaps and bounds compared to the competition).

But we have to put this into perspective of Microsoft’s historical behaviour, which has been a very strong case of “not invented here” (a version of “Not In My Backyard”). For instance they will have their own: server software, phones, development tools, console, mp3 player, etc….  you name it, it seems Microsoft will reinvent it for their own. Even to the extent of multiple ways to do something within the Microsoft world of technology, as different teams independently reinvent the wheel.

Think about it, how often (or ever?) does Microsoft hand off their customers to a third party company?

Now stack on top of this factor Microsoft’s heavy opposition to anything open source and you end up with how truly remarkable decision this is. WordPress is arguably the KING of non-desktop opensource projects out there (I said non-desktop to leave out Linux, which obviously is the overall King).

Even worse for Microsoft it runs as one of the most famous examples of an implementation of the LAMP stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and then the cherry on top….  WordPress (a PHP program). And what is this? Open source all the way from top to bottom! You can see the far reaching consequences of this, it can even impact the reputation of core markets for Microsoft such as their server division. Because they’ve just effectively given the stamp of approval to Linux and Apache for their users to be on, Microsoft is sending them there themselves!

How many users you say? Well in the announcement it was claimed they have 30 Million active users, in reality this has been found to be PR spin and WordPress.com will actually be getting a few million instead (or even much less). Even so, this is users they didn’t have before! And as I’ve made the point of in this post, it isn’t so much the number of users that is significant as it is the implications of what this means…

a) admitting somebody else can do it better than them
b) switching users over… to the competitor
c) choosing an open source stack! (LAMP)

It also raises broader questions for the user, if Microsoft is so willing to give up users who have put in the effort to customise their personal online space, will Microsoft start to abandon more “non-core” areas such as hotmail or online storage? Users mean traffic and the web is all about monetizing traffic, perhaps Microsoft is giving up on this…  and their web ambitions in general?! Surely not, I would’ve expected to see tie ins between Live Spaces and Windows Phone 7. Like Andriod does with Google products, that would’ve greatly pushed Microsoft’s online presence with users.

While they’ll spin this announcement as a positive (and it is, for WordPress as just the positive press is going to be great) it in reality must haven’t been some kind of disaster happening behind the scenes for this turn of events to occur. Life must not be good in Redmond with the recent disasters they’ve had, for instance Vista and Kin. I really hope Windows Phone 7 does not get added to this list!

Windows Live Spaces is Dead, Long Live WordPress!
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Just got naked dsl with Orcon, my experience http://terso.co.nz/just-got-naked-dsl-with-orcon-my-experience/ http://terso.co.nz/just-got-naked-dsl-with-orcon-my-experience/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:04:29 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=64 Last week I signed up for Orcon Purple (naked dsl), and just this evening I’ve started using it which is exactly the day they predicted it would be up and running on. So full kudos to them for that

The telecom technician came by this morning and got the connect set up, I picked up the orcon homehub from the courier depot early evening and set it all up after my late dinner. No troubles at all, just plugged everything in and it just works.

The one thing I perhaps had a slight worry about is youtube, but I’ve been happily watching plenty of youtube videos from past Ironman races I’ve been in without experiencing any pausing whatsoever of the videos.

Other relevant details: I live in Auckland City only a block and a half away from the SkyTower (which means I’m using Orcon’s Auckland Central Exchange), the only other internet provider I’ve used from this apartment is wireless Woosh which I stopped using early this year.

If my experiences change I’ll update this, but I thought I’d post up a positive experience as opposed to all the negative ones (as people tend to only write when things go wrong rather than when they go right too)

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The pursuit of internets goodness http://terso.co.nz/the-pursuit-of-internets-goodness/ http://terso.co.nz/the-pursuit-of-internets-goodness/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2009 18:55:00 +0000 David Peterson http://terso.co.nz/?p=68 Been using my flatmate’s woosh for the past few months, but as he is moving out now along with his woosh connection it is time to find a replacement (replacement internet that is, replacement flatmate has been found already!)

I highly doubt I’ll go along with woosh again myself, as we have had many connection problems with it etc (to late now for me, but if you are using woosh I’d recommend checking this out to see where their sites our: http://wooshinfo.googlepages.com/locations.html)

We have no need for a landline as we both have several cellphones, hence naked DSL.

We are not heavy users, probably the biggest drain on it would be youtube from time to time. Although there are two of us, so I’m guessing we will need about 30 gigs in total for both of us.

Got recommended on the Geezone Forums to check out nzconnections.net, which has been very handy as it lists all the options in NZ.

After taking a look at all of the naked dsl options it looks like naked dsl is not a good idea unless a person really wants full speed up load and full speed download? (FS\FS)

As otherwise naked dsl looks really expensive relatively speaking for how much data you get.

Thus I reach my next conclusion of Slingshot Fire 1 is the best option?
Gives 20 gigs at FS\128 for $50/month (plus unmetered data off peak).

But…. after looking at it further and the prices of a landline, well… I’m amazed a simple landline costs so much! I’m looking at around about $40/month just for that! Makes the naked dsl look a hell of a lot more reasonable as a basic broadband connection costs around about $40+ per month, which compares favourably then with naked dsl at around about $70 or $80 per month.

So, my current thinking is that Slingshot’s Big Thing #2 is the best option. Although it is a little pricey at $90/month, this includes the phone line and gives a very generous package of: FS\FS & 25gig/month (plus unmetered off peak). The rationale being that it is the same price as Slingshot Fire 1 + landline, but I’ll get an extra 5 gig.

Thoughts/suggestions/criticism?

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