Archived posts from the 'Uncategorized' Category

If you suffer from a dead slow FireFox browser …

The FireFox prefs-9999.js pitfall… and you’ve tried all the free-memory-on-minimize tricks out there, you could do a couple of things.

You could try to update to the newest version. If you’re using old extensions like I do, FireFox has already sent a bazillion of security alerts trying to talk you into the update process. Well, you’d get rid of the update alerts, but that doesn’t solve all your problems, because your beloved extensions were deactivated automatically.

A reinstall is brutal, but helps. Unfortunately you’ll lose a lot of stuff.

Waiting until your history.dat file exceeds 12 gigs and session saver forced the creation of prefs-9999.js in your profile is another way to handle the crisis. The prefs-9999.js is the ultimate prefs file, which stores all your settings by the way. Once FireFox creates it, it stops working all of a sudden and cannot be restarted.

I figured out that such a prefs-n.js file is created up to a few times daily, and with every new file FireFox slows down a bit. It is absolutely genial that in times of 64 bit integers the file counter has such a low hard limit. I mean I wouldn’t surf any more in a few weeks if my browser would become much slower.

So I appreciated the heart attack forcing me to look into the issue, deleted all prefs-*.js files but kept prefs.js itself, and now I’ve my fast FireFox1.5 back. I lost a few open tabs and such, because I was too lazy to rename prefs-9999.js to prefs-1.js. Memory allocation right after starting the browser went down to laughable 300 megs and still counting, so I guess there’s some work left when I want to continue surfing with hundreds of tabs in several project specific windows. Sigh.

I’m an old fart and tend to forget such things, hence I post it and next time my browser slows down I just ask you guys on Twitter what to do with it. Thanks in advance for your help.



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Hello world!

Howdy! I’m in the process of moving my blog from blogspot to this domain. As long as you see a ToDo List here, I’m not yet ready. Ok, there’s no such thing as a blog that’s “ready”. Hence the ToDo list is here to stay. Probably forever. More on the bugs & flaws page.

    Unordered & unprioritized ToDo List

  • OK: dofollow plugin
  • OK: feedburner
  • OK: navigation in sidebar
  • OK: links + OK:blogroll
  • OK: remove “be the first …” on pages w/o comments
  • OK: Twitter and other gadgets
  • OK: configure titles (<title><?php wp_title(”",true); ?></title> (actually that’s more code coz wp_title(”",true) delivers nil for the home page)) and meta tags
  • tag old blogger posts
  • OK: 301 sebastian-x.com
  • OK: post background color too dark (blockquotes) and other CSS hacks
  • OK: XML sitemap
  • credits on links page
  • enhance site search when Google has indexed everything
  • links list blogspot commenters
  • OK: friendlier 404 page which actually sends a 404
  • contact page
  • edit blogspot links in imported posts and comments (when you get pings because I’ve edited an old post of mine, I’m sorry.)
  • OK: edit categories to enable nice categorized links lists feeding old posts with link juice
  • OK: Feed buttons
  • OK: Share/bookmark links
  • OK: change author links
  • OK: linking from blogspot posts to new URLs
  • OK: sitemaps/categories page with feed links/list of articles
  • fix the disabled button + text area after AJAXed comment submissions
  • advertising? Ynot.
  • OK: think about testing vs. launching early (Hi Marissa!)
  • OK: bait crawlers (Ms. Googlebot grabbed her milk & cookies a day after I’ve registered the domain, but is confused because I’ve changed the IP address a few days later)
  • OK: ask friends for href changes
  • wait for something unspecified
  • OK: push the red button, publish the moved-draft at blogger, redirect the blogger feeds to feedburner, and turn this thingy to public
  • FINALLY: redirect the blogspot url

I’ll write a post on a few technical aspects of the move in a few days.



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5 Reasons why I blog

So since Matt Cutts tagged by Vanessa Fox cat-tagged me 5 times ;) I add my piece.

    Napping cats don't listen
  1. Well, I’ve started this blog because every dog and his grandpa blogs, but the actual reason was, that I couldn’t convince my beloved old cat listening my rants any more. Sadly my old comrade died years ago in the age of 15, leaving alone a gang of two legged monsters rampage in house and garden.
  2. Since then I’ve used my blogs for kidding, bollocks, and other stuff not suitable for more or less static sites where I publish more seriously. However, I’ve scraped some wholehearted posts from the blog to put them on the consulting platform, because this site is way more popular. Vice versa I’ve blogged announced my other articles and projects here. This blog is somewhat a playground to test the waters and concurrently a speaking tube. I still find it difficult to do that with another platform, the timely character of blogging perfectly allows burying of half-baked things.
  3. Every now and then I write an open letter to Google, for example my series of pleas to revamp rel=nofollow. Perhaps a googler is listening ;)
    Also, a blog is a neat instrument to get the attention of folks who don’t seem to listen.
  4. Frankly I like to share ideas and knowledge. Blogging is the perfect platform to raise rumors or myths too. Also, writing helps me to structure my thoughts, this works even better in a foreign language.
  5. Last but not least I use my blog as reference. While providing Google user support sometimes I just drop a link, particulary as answer to repetitive questions. By the way Google’s Webmaster Forum is a nice place to chase SEO tidbits straight from the horse’s mouth.

Although I admit I’ve somewhat tag-baited my way in here, I’m tagging you:
Thu Tu
John Müller
John Honeck
Jim Boykin
Gurtie & Chris



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Link monkey business is not worth a whoop

Old news, pros move on educating the great unlinked.

A tremendous amount of businesses maintaining a Web site still swap links in masses with every dog and his fleas. Serious sites join link exchange scams to gain links from every gambling spammer out there. Unscrupulous Web designers and low-life advisors put gazillions of businesses at risk. Eventually the site owners pop up in Google’s help forum wondering why the heck they lost their rankings despite their emboldening toolbar PageRank. Told to dump all their links pages and to file a reinclusion request they may do so, but cutting one’s loss short term is not the way the cookie crumbles with Google. Consequences of listening to bad SEO advice are often layoffs or even bust.

In this context a thread titled “Do the companies need to hire a SEO to get in top position?” asks the somewhat right question but may irritate site owners even more. Their amateurish Web designer offering SEO services obviously got their site banned or at least heavily penalized by Google. Asking for help in forums they get contradictory SEO advice. Google’s take on SEO firms is more or less a plain warning. Too many scams sailing under the SEO flag and it seems there’s no such thing as reliable SEO advice for free on the net.

However, the answer to the question is truly “yes“. It’s better to see a SEO before the rankings crash out. Unfortunately, SEO is not a yellow pages category, and every clown can offer crappy SEO services. Places like SEO Consultants and honest recommendations get you the top notch SEOs, but usually the small business owner can’t afford their services. Asking fellow online businesses for their SEO partner may lead to a scammer who is still beloved because Google has not yet spotted and delisted his work. Kinda dilemma, huh?

Possible loophole: once you’ve got a recommendation for a SEO skilled Webmaster or SEO expert from somebody attending a meeting at the local chamber of commerce, post that fellow’s site to the forums and ask for signs of destructive SEO work. Should give you an indication of trustworthiness.

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Spamming wannabe SEOs: SEO Affiliates, Cleveland, Ohio

Got this email from a site owner today:

I can put your site at the top of a search engines listings. This is no joke and I can show proven results from all our past clients.
If this is something you might be interested in, send me a reply with the web addresses you want to promote and the best way to contact you with some options.

Thanks in advance,

Sarah Lohman
SEO Affiliates
124 Middle Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44035

I told him long ago that he should dump that site if its affiliate earnings from MSN and Yahoo traffic drop too much, and now some spamming assclowns from Cleveland, Ohio guarantee a #1 listing for crap, sheesh. Here’s the polite reply:

I’m sure you’re joking coz being a that experienced SEO you should have noticed that this site suffers from Google’s death penalty for various good reasons since 2002.
Go figure spammer

Sigh. Off to submit a ton of my email addresses to the spammer’s idiot collector.

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Q: Does Googlebot obey ftp://ftp.example.com/robots.txt?

Google states

Search engine robots, including our very own Googlebot, are incredibly polite. They work hard to respect your every wish regarding what pages they should and should not crawl.

A site owner posted logs where Googlebot fetches files although these are disallowed in robots.txt.

Anyone?



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Google Webmasters Help FAQ launched

John Web has launched the Inofficial Google Webmaster FAQs, stop by and contribute your knowledge.

This FAQ was born in a Google Groups thread where regular posters discussed the handling of redundant questions in Google’s Webmaster Help Center.

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Blogger.com Hates Digg

Ever tried to add a digg button to a blogspot blog? You get a thoughtless error message like “HTML tag <script type=’text/javascript’> is not allowed”. Since when is JavaScript code an HTML tag? BS. <polemic mode>Why does Blogger.com allow JavaScript code made by AdSense?

Conclusion: Blogger.com hates digg.com but loves Google’s AdSense.

Did I hear Googlers encouraging link building tactics like link baiting and social bookmarking? Perhaps I just misunderstood those messages … </polemic mode>

Here is the code downtrodden by Google:

<script type="text/javascript">digg_url = ‘http://sebastianx.blogspot.com/2007/02/why-proper-error-handling-is-important.html‘;</script><script src=”http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>


Ok, I admit that Google censors filters blog posts in the best interest of noobs not knowing what a piece of JS code can achieve. However, I’m not an ignorant noob and I do want to make use of JavaScript in my blog posts.

Hey Google, please listen to my rant! Thanks.

PS: Dear Google, please don’t tell me that I can use JS within the template. I don’t think every post of mine is worth a digg button and I’m too lazy to code the conditions.



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Google pulls CIA data

Bollocks devoted to Daniel Brandt

Playing with 71 new search keywords by Google I noticed that many search queries get answered with CIA data. Try “national holiday” Canada, Germany, France, Italy and so on, in all cases you get directed to the CIA factbook.



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How Google’s Web Spam Team finds your link scheme

Natural Search Blog has a nice piece reporting that Matt’s team makes use of a proprietary tool to identify webspam trying to manipulate Google’s PageRank.

Ever wondered why Google catches PR-boosting services scams in no time?



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