Is The Google Panda Update Fair?

/* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 8:56pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Uncategorized    */

In 2011 Google rolled out one of the biggest updates to its search engine, the Google Panda update, also referred to as the Farmer Update. The first tranche of the update was in February 2011 and affected all English language sites in America. The second tranche of the update was in April 2011 and affected all other English language sites.

There is a lot of conflicting opinion on whether this update was good or not. Many webmasters and blog owners feel that it was unfair as they lost a lot of traffic. Google say that users have reported improvements in search results, although a majority of Google users are totally unaware that any change took place.

The Google Panda update provides a new layer to the Google search algorithm. Prior to Panda, Google ranked web pages using its PageRank algorithm. It still does this, however, now there is a second layer to ranking. Panda ranks provides a quality check for an entire website. So a website with some very good pages which are well linked to may have received a lot of targeted traffic prior to Google Panda. However, if there is some low quality content on the site then these pages are reduced in ranking. Basically, Google now ranks websites and not just web pages.

The result is that many bloggers and website owners have seen large drops in Google traffic since the Panda updates. These site owners are often very critical of Google because of this. However, really they need to take a closer look at their business model and their websites and ask themselves, why doesn’t Google like my site anymore?

As far as Google users are concerned there are still 10 organic search results on the first page of Google when they type a search in. There is still a lot of content on the Internet to provide readers with all the answers they need.

For those that are highly critical of the Google Panda update they really need to to examine their website in great detail to improve overall site quality. This does not just mean quality of written content but also the quality of the site design, architecture, navigation and usability.

It is also painful to hear, but if a website has lost much of its business as a result of a single change by a single search engine, then their business model was broken. No business should ever rely solely on a single source of new clients. It is vital for any business to spread its risk by widening its marketing net. Google even suggests doing this themselves. Matt Cutts has said that webmasters really should look to social media and other sites for generating more business leads (traffic).

Facebook, Twitter, forums and blogs all provide opportunities for generating new business. Some of the most successful web marketeers were only receiving 25% of their traffic from Google before Panda, and these guys have well optimised websites.

The Internet is much bigger than just Google and to rely on Google for all your business is a marketing disaster waiting to happen. If you survived Google Panda in tact do not rest on your laurels. The next Google update could see your website plummet in the search index. Running a profitable website is really no different from running any other business. Make sure that you are ready to survive the crash by diversifying your marketing model.

For an example of a website that improved after the Google Panda update take a look at Shareholders Portal. The site is relatively new and does not have many links from other sites, i.e. it is the type of site which before Panda was lost in the search pages. However, since the Google update traffic has more than doubled. This is a sure sign that quality sites are being given more exposure in Google search.

Enable Single Tap Clicking on Windows Boot Camp

/* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 2:56pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under General    */

If you’ve been used to using a Windows-based laptop machine and are used to the single tap clicking functionality of your trackpad, then you will find this feature sorely missing on a Boot Camp Windows install. This is just one of those quirks of having to use a Mac interface to operate a Windows operating system. Another one of those quirks that is immediately evident is the lack of a right mouse button on the trackpad.

Fortunately, Apple was gracious enough to enable this functionality in the latest version of Boot Camp. As of 3.1, the version I am using, this is now a supported feature that you can easily enable, even if you use a more outdated machine like my white Macbook on a C2D Intel processor.

This feature was so widely requested that I believe Apple also enabled such behavior on Snow Leopard if I am not mistaken (you should be able to access that from the mouse settings). Looks like Windows triumphs against Apple on this small usability feature.

To enable single tap clicking on your Boot Camp Windows installation, check your taskbar for the Boot Camp icon. It’s a plain gray diamond.

taskbar boot camp icon

When you click on it, a pop up will appear. Select the “Boot Camp Control Panel…” option. In the dialog that opens, click on the “Trackpad” tab to get to the single tap settings page.

enable single tap click boot camp

The red square indicates the checkbox you should check labeled “Tap to Click.” Then simply hit the “Apply” button to begin enjoying single tap functionality immediately. Now your Macbook’s trackpad should work just like a trackpad off a Windows laptop.

The only thing to beware: accidental clicking. Enabling “Ignore accidental input when typing” should alleviate some of those issues, though not completely.

Nitro PDF Reader jumps to 2.0

/* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 2:56am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

(Credit:
Nitro PDF, Inc.)

Nitro PDF Reader, recipient of a 2010 CNET Editor’s Choice award, has officially jumped to version 2.0. After spending 12 months in beta, Nitro PDF Reader 2.0 comes to us with a host of big-time features, several bug fixes, and other minor enhancements. Some of the most important additions to 2.0 include:

Web browser integration
Now you can preview PDF files from within
Firefox, Chrome, and IE.

Nitro PDF Creator 2
As if the original built-in PDF creator wasn’t enough, now you can pump out PDFs at 4 times the speed and with a 50% reduction in file size

QuickSign
With this nifty new feature, you can say goodbye to the annoyingly tedious Print-Sign-Scan-Send workflow. QuickSign lets you import a scanned image of your signature and paste it onto “Sign Here” fields.

XFA Form Support
Again, another feature that lets us do away with printing physical copies. With XFA Form Support you can fill out paperwork digitally.

If you’re on Windows, and you’re still using Adobe Reader, you should strongly consider at least trying Nitro’s offering. It’s free, it has a built-in PDF creator, and now it comes with a host of features that many of its competitors can’t match. Nitro PDF Reader 2.0 is available now on Download.com, and you can get the full rundown of new features here.

Free Nitro PDF Reader Speeds Up, Works in Browsers

/* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 2:56am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under News    */

It’s leaner, it’s meaner, it’s Nitro PDF Reader. Available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions, new version 2 of the PDF viewer/creator/editor whose interface mimics Microsoft Office’s to a great extent (2007 and now 2010–a good thing in my book), is now noticeably faster both opening and saving PDFs. This is no mean feat, as it was very fast before. Its new browser integration is nice as well.

Free Nitro PDF Reader Speeds Up, Works in BrowsersNitro PDF 2.0 mimics Office 2010, but thankfully not down to covering entire windows with the menu.Nitro PDF Reader was never just a reader. It installs a driver that turns any kind of document into a PDF by simply printing it, and it’s one of a handful of free tools that allows you to add your own text to any kind of PDF. This ability means you can fill in PDF forms whether they have editable fields or not. It also has the ability to extract both text and graphics as well as embed a graphic of your signature. The latter task is now called QuickSign, but it appears procedurally identical to the old process: Load a picture of your signature, drag it and place it on the document, then double-click it to embed it. The program also installs it.

Probably the best new trick is integration with Web browsers. Nitro PDF Reader will open files in both IE and FireFox so you don’t have to open a separate viewer. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to change the magnification but it’s still handy. Nitro PDF claims that the files it saves are now smaller; however, opening then resaving a couple of book files resulted in the same size file from both versions 1.4 and 2.0. This was hardly a thorough test, though, and your mileage may vary.

I hate to complain about a free tool in any fashion. However, I have a wish for the list–that the program would save files in ebook format. Adobe Reader on Windows Phone 7 isn’t all that configurable, so I like to turn some PDF books into .epub format.

Despite my nitpicking, Nitro PDF Reader is easily the fastest PDF viewer and the best free editor around. It’s a must-download for anyone who deals with PDFs. For me, it has replaced the Foxit 2.3/BioPDF reading/creating combo I used for several years.

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Dolphin emulator SVN r7613 released

/* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 2:56am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

Here’s the latest build of Dolphin, the ever-improving open-source Nintendo Gamecube and Wii emulator for PC. So what’s new in the latest update?

dolphin_nsmb2

 

Changelog:

    • The user Config directory in the dolphin emu distributed files is now an empty directory (since the portable file has been removed).  Hence that directory should be created and not copied.  This fixes a downstream packaging issue.  Downstream packages strip empty directories from the install.  So users of those packages will find that their settings are not saved.

       

      Developer’s note:

      Dolphin is a Gamecube and Wii emulator. Most games run perfectly or with minor bugs. Games are playable at HD quality, up to 1080p. This is a remarkable feature the actualGamecube and Wii consoles are not capable of. As an open source project everyone can commit improvements. The code is hosted on code.google.com. Dolphin is actively developed and almost every day new features are added and bugs fixed as well.

      System Requirements

      • Windows XP or higher, or Linux, or MacOSX Intel.
      • Fast modern CPU with SSE2. Dual core for a speed boost.
      • Any reasonable modern GPU with Pixel Shader 2.0 or greater. nVidia or ATI are good. Older integrated Intel chips may not work, newer ones should work fine.
      • For more information, see http://forums.dolphin-emu.com/thread-4.html

      Features

      • Runs the following types of games:
      • Gamecube Game Disc
      • Wii Game Disc
      • Wii Downloadable Games / Virtual Console
      • Triforce Arcade games
      • Action Replay Simulator
      • Xbox 360 Controller support, with rumble (KB Plugin)
      • Experimental NetPlay
      • Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering (OGL Plugin)
      • Save states
      • Memory Card Manager with GCI memcard export/import support
      • Real and emulated Wiimote support
      • Basic PowerPC Debugger and Log Window
      • DSP HLE and experimental LLE
      • Memory viewer and dumper
      • PowerPC Just-In-Time recompiler
      • WAD Support
      • Some support for Homebrew and XFB Emulation
      • Hi-Res Support, texture dumper, Free Look (OGL Plugin)

       

      Usage Notes

      • The GUI should be pretty much self-explanatory.
      • To use Action Replay codes, follow the examples in the Patches subdirectory. Use + in front of a cheat name to activate it. The cheats can be named anything.
      • To start in debug mode, pass /d (or -d) on the command line.

       

       

      Download: Dolphin SVN r7613 32bit

      Download: Dolphin SVN r7613 64bit

       

       


      *UPDATE*

       

      The Dolphin dev team has released the long awaited update of their emulator project, bringing it to version 3.0.

      Developer’s note:

      Yep, we really did it. Finally, after 20 days of string freeze and almost 3 months of feature freeze (totally worth it), we’re officially declaring Dolphin “it must new” 3.0 as released!

      As (something like) the release manager for 3.0, I’m proud of this release. It’s a lot more polished compared to 2.0 (especially the user interface) and should suffer from much fewer bugs. However, we of course still have a lot room for improvement, and for sure will further work on getting closer to perfect Gamecube/Wii/Triforce emulation

       

      Changelog:

      • Tons of bug fixes: This totally deserves to be a major point for this release. There’s been roughly 2500 commits between 2.0 and this release, so there are REALLY too many changes to mention. All kinds of stuff from strange UI behavior, crashes, graphical glitches and other sorts of problems were fixed. For example, many games which didn’t boot at all in Dolphin are working fine now.
      • Improvements to the user interface: The configuration dialogs were restructured in a more sensible manner to ease emulator usage for new users. The video config dialog received a complete overhaul and features a description panel for each option now.
      • Various feature additions: This release also features support for the Wiimote speaker, EFB format change emulation, a gfx debugger, audio dumping, and many other stuff
      • Low level DSP emulation: Thanks to numerous fixes to the LLE emulator engine, audio emulation in Dolphin is close to perfect now (provided that one has the necessary DSP dumps of course)
      • New API support: Added a D3D11 video backend and an XAudio2 audio backend
      • Removal of the plugin interface: The 2.0 release already had seen the introduction of plugin rewrites; the new plugins have been brought to feature parity and replaced them so well, that we decided to merge all plugins the Core. Further improvements are better suited as additions in the current infrastructure since this architecture allows for a much better integration with the other parts of Dolphin.
      • Translation support: Recently we introduced supporting for translating Dolphin into any language. However, due to a lack of well-done translations it was decided to only ship a set of eight translations (Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish) with Dolphin 3.0.
      • Performance/Accuracy: There have been some performance optimizations (especially in the texture decoder), but generally speaking performance decreased in favor of more accurate hardware emulation.
      • Building Dolphin: The Windows build uses MSVC 2010 now, Linux users should use the new CMake build system. OS X people still compile Dolphin via SCons.

       

      Download: Dolphin v3.0 32bit

      Download: Dolphin v3.0 64bit

       

      And while your at it, don’t forget to explore our DL page to grab hold of the latest brews from all around the scene.

       

       

      Via [Dolphin]

      Share

      Download Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Internet Security 2012 Trial

      /* Posted June 24th, 2011 at 2:56am [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Gadgets    */

      Delicious Delicious

      Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky Antivirus 2012 are the latest version of Kaspersky Anti-virus software. Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 is an all-in-one security suite which has been designed to deliver premium protection from viruses, Trojans, spam, hackers and etc. While Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 intends to provide complete security protection, Kaspersky Antivirus 2012 acts as the backbone of the PC’s security system that able to provide real-time protection against the latest malware and viruses. Both the latest version of Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 has included lot of new features, enhancements and improvements such as redesigned interface.



      Key features of the Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 includes:

      • Completely redesigned interface – Makes navigating around security settings inside Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 quick and easy.
      • Kaspersky URL Advisor – Marks web links with a color-coded tag that shows their danger level and allows user to choose whether to open them.
      • Kaspersky File Advisor – Checks file safety with a single click of the mouse.
      • System Watcher – Monitors suspicious application activities and allows user to roll back system changes made by malware.
      • Application Control – Restricts program access to personal data and system files according to the level of danger that each program presents.
      • Safe Run Mode – Lets user launch suspicious applications and websites in a special, isolated environment where they cannot harm their computer.
      • Two-way personal firewall – Protects against hacker attacks.
      • Anti-Phishing and Anti-Spam technology – Provides reliable protection for user personal information and guards against unwanted spam and adware.
      • Parental Control – Provides flexible and effective settings to keep children extra-safe when they use computers and the Internet.

      Key features of Kaspersky Antivirus 2012 includes:

      • Completely redesigned interface – Makes navigating around the PC security program quick and easy.
      • System Watcher – Protects PC against unknown threats and lets you roll back system changes made by malware.
      • Kaspersky File Advisor – Allows user to check file safety with a single click of the mouse.
      • Kaspersky URL Advisor – Marks web links with a color-coded tag to advise user of their danger level.
      • Anti-Phishing module – Warns about phishing sites that steal personal data.
      • Task Manager – Allows user to monitor malware scanning activities as they happen.
      • Desktop gadget – Lets user see their computer’s security status instantly and gives them quick access to essential security settings inside Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012.

      Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky Antivirus 2012 are now available for free download with 30 days of fully functional trial at http://www.kaspersky.com/internet-security-2012. Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky Antivirus 2012 are priced at USD59.95 and USD39.95 per year for one PC.

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      Xecuter Project CK3i – New Product Range Coming This Summer

      /* Posted June 23rd, 2011 at 8:56pm [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Xbox    */


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      Minecraft Modders Make Epic Tribute in Zelda Adventure

      /* Posted June 23rd, 2011 at 8:56pm [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Video Games    */

      Minecraft modder Gary520 has released a trailer to show off what is perhaps the blocky game’s most ambitious creation yet: an epic, 10-hour adventure based on The Legend of Zelda.


      wireduk
      It’s called Zelda Adventure and manages to squeeze the franchise’s most iconic elements — including a boomerang, a magical ocarina and an old man with a beard — into millions of polygonal blocks and boxes.

      Like other, more legitimate, games in the series, you’ll have to traipse through eight puzzle- and enemy-filled dungeons on your quest. You’ll scout through forests, snowy villages and endless deserts to find imposing fortresses, underground lairs and secret caves.

      You also get to go hands on with Link’s arsenal of items and weapons. You’ll get to grab distant rupees with a boomerang, warp around the world by tooting on your ocarina, blow up creepers with pixel-art bombs and defend yourself with a Kokiri shield.

      It’s all rather lovely and exquisitely well-made, with the only disappointment being that it’s not called The Legend of Zelda: Blockarina of Time. Gary520 is still working on the game, but you can grab an early release, with about five or so dungeons available, from the Minecraft forums.

      If you’re interested, though, best get it downloaded quick. Nintendo doesn’t take kindly to fan games and has quickly shut down fan-made content in the past. The Japanese firm killed off a homemade Zelda-inspired movie in 2010.

      CalenGoo for IPhone

      /* Posted June 23rd, 2011 at 8:56am [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under News    */

      CalenGoo from Dominique Adur Gunia provides the Google Calendar integration you’ve been looking for.

      Let’s say, hypothetically, you’ve got a busy life–a far fetched idea these days, I know. So you need to upgrade from the flower-themed day planner you got for Christmas last year and you jump aboard the Google Calendar bandwagon. At the same time, you need this calendar wherever you go. The built-in Google App support doesn’t give you enough control, and neither does the mobile Web version. The iCal and Google Calendar syncing doesn’t work like a finely tuned Swiss watch just yet. So what is a social butterfly such as yourself to do? I’d say check out CalenGoo, an impressive integration of Google Calendar on the go.

      The first thing you’ll notice with CalenGoo is the various views and general elasticity of the interface. Your calendar can appear as columns, a grid, a list, or a day-by-day view. An update, released in the last week, adds a landscape mode for day view that shows a whole week at a glance in the style of the day view.

      You navigate between the different views by tapping the choices at the bottom, entering a certain date, or double tapping the day. All of this works in both portrait or landscape mode and makes use of the iPhone’s multitouch capabilities, letting you pinch to zoom events and swipe to move between days and months.

      Opening the settings really sheds light on how flexible and well thought-out this app is. You can change nearly everything from all the colors displayed in the interface to how often it syncs to the calendar. You can also set how to manage time zones and even how to access events.

      Adding new events provides the same sort of easy experience you’d get inside iCal, but with all of the added functionality of Google Calendar at your fingertips, such as inviting folks to events and pulling contacts from your address book to add attendees. You can copy with one tap. Displaying the location of an event takes you into the Maps application. A magnifying glass lets you access the search feature and a Today button brings you to the current date.

      All changes made in the app are held until the next time you sync, and all data from the last download is cached. As a result, using Google calendar with no Internet connection is a breeze.

      This app succeeds on many levels. It provides full control over the experience without overwhelming the user, and it just makes sense overall. CalenGoo provides the sort of connectedness that makes bouncing back and forth between your Google calendar online and the app itself seamless and trouble free.

      If you’d like to be a bit more of a power user about it, an extensive tutorial is available via the developer’s Website, making your transition to CalenGoo even smoother.

      [Rob de la Cretaz is a full-time polymath and a proud resident of Pittsburgh.]

      Panasonic LUMIX GF3 vs Sony NEX-C3 Micro Four Thirds Cameras Comparison

      /* Posted June 23rd, 2011 at 2:56am [Comments: none]    */
      /* Filed under Gadgets    */

      Delicious Delicious

      As you may know, Micro Four Thirds camera is the compact camera device ideal for folks who wanna experience superior image quality comparable to that of D-SLR cameras – without the size and bulk of digital SLR cameras. Recently, Panasonic and Sony have announced the launch of their latest digital interchangeable lens camera – Panasonic LUMIX GF3 and Sony NEX-C3, respectively. If you’re one whom in consideration of purchasing either one of them and would like to know more specifications and features of the both, then the following comparative table of Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3 vs Sony ? NEX-C3 might be a quick reference you are seeking for.

      Panasonic LUMIX GF3 vs Sony NEX-C3

      From the table above, you can find that Panasonic LUMIX GF3 is slightly lighter than Sony NEX-C3, as well as has higher-resolution video recording capability. Anyway, both of the compact contenders are small enough to carry everywhere, seems perfect for people who dislike the bulky size of DSLR camera. Ultimately, if you prefer a less bulky advanced digital camera, any of them may suit your need. You may want to take into consideration promotions and price available in your locality before making a purchase, and also to actually try out the camera first.

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