Archive for the 'Internet' Category

Froogle failure to find fortuitous fortune

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

I orginally wrote this as a comment on a TechCrunch post, but realized that there were a few more things I wanted to riff about.

If you didn’t realize it, Google removed the Froogle link from their front page and replaced it with Google Video. While some people are making a big deal of it, I really think this move is related to the YouTube phenomenon and also the fact that most product searches start at the search engine and not necessarily at a supposed shopping search engine.

Three points to consider:

1)Froogle listings are still showing up at the top of SERPS. Panasonic Video Camera, Scandinavian Office Chair, and half carat diamond ring. (I have expensive tastes.) I don’t know if this matters, but I was logged into Google when I saw these results.

2)If you’re a retailer and you are listed in Froogle, then you will see referrers from Froogle, as long as your price point is a)reasonable and b)reasonably low. In my experience, despite the Froogle listings, I still have seen many, many more referrers from Google’s natural search than Froogle. As any online retailer knows, competing on price point alone is an [expletive deleted].

3)Natural search still rules product referrers. Wasn’t Battelle who said that 60% of all e-commerce transactions start at the search engine?

Over the past year and half or so, I’ve thought that Google was going to push retailers and such from natural search to paid Froogle inclusion or Google Base or Google AdWords, now with Froogle getting off of the front page links, I’m wondering if this isn’t Google tacitly acknowledging that there’s much more e-commerce traffic in natural search. And if there’s traffic in natural search then shouldn’t Google’s corporate push be towards Google AdWords and Google Base, not to mention Google Checkout?

Also, pertaining to Google products in trouble, is it just me or am I just not seeing result for products in Google Base in Google SERPS?

Who Called Us

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

Talk about a useful Web 2.0 site, whocalled.us is a site that utilizes user content for something good. In this case, creating a database of “unknown caller” numbers.

What happens is this, you see an “unknown caller” on your cell or Caller ID, and you go to whocalled.us to lookup the number. As of this writing, some of the most egregious “unknown callers” in the nation are listed, but the database can only improve with your help.

So if you can’t find the number who called you, just create a new record with the number and the time and date and any other information about the call. If your number is already in the FTC’s National Do Not Call List, Whocalled.us can also report your call as a violation to the FTC.

[tags] user generated content, whocalled.us, unknown caller [/tags]

Mozilla Firebird

Friday, August 11th, 2006

Mozilla Firebird is redesign of the Mozilla browser, component similar to Galeon, K-Meleon and Caminoâ„¢, but written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform.

Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.4b) Gecko/20030516 Mozilla Firebird/0.6

[tags]Web, Mozilla, Web browsers, What ever happened to Mosaic?[/tags]

OpenAnything

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

There’s a lazy programmer from Finland who is hitting my site with the following user agent.

Agent: OpenAnything/1.6 +http://diveintopython.org/http_web_services/

The reason why I say s/he is lazy is because the user agent is contained within a HTTP GET python script in Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Python Book. Said programmer apparently didn’t read the how to change a user agent section.

[tags]Web, lazy programmers, python, dive into python, Is Finland cold in the summer?[/tags]

Traffic.com

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Traffic.com is a site that offers real-time traffic reports of your metropolitan area. If you register for the service you can even create a customized traffic report and have that report sent to your inbox.

I’ve been receiving the customized traffic.com reports for my commute home and have found it to be pretty useful since when route 202 is backed up, it’s horribly backed up. Based on the events of the past couple of days, I should create a report for my commute to work.

[tags]traffic.com, useful Web sites [/tags]

Sony Playstation content

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

There is this Web site designed specifically for Sony PlayStations where one can download content for your PlayStation.

[tags]SonyPlayStation, podcasting [/tags]

What in the world was AOL thinking?

Monday, August 7th, 2006

By now, most of you have probably heard about the public release of hundreds of thousands of search query records by AOL ostensibly for research purposes. While the search queries were supposed to be anonymized by subsituting AOL usernames with numbers, the information in the search queries themselves are quite sensitive including names, addresses, SSN numbers and even includes some alarming search queries.

An AOL spokesman has since apologized for the leak, but as they say, the horse is already out of the barn. Not to mention that I’m sure there are attorneys already looking into this.

Update: The NY Times was able to track down a woman in Georgia via her AOL search requests included in the released data.

Also, CNET lists some of the search queries.

[tags]AOL, AOL data leak [/tags]

sitescore

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

The British Web consultant group Silktide has a free Web sitescore program that will analyze a site for design, popularity and accessiblity. Interesting to see their take on Web marketing and design. Also, cleverhack isn’t that slow.

Sitescore for cleverhack.com

[tags]Web design, Web marketing, Web [/tags]

philly.com screenshot

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Screenshot from the Philly.com technology section. Whoops.

phily.com technology section

[tags]philly.com, whoops[/tags]

Google WAP proxy user agent

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

User agent for the Google Wireless Proxy, used by folks browsing the Web via Google properties on their cellphones. This is not a googlebot, instead it’s an actual user on their cellphone.

Host: 216.239.38.136
/2006/01/29/satellite-radio-hack-sorta/
Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 06 14:55:05 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 4969
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; Google Wireless Transcoder;)

[tags]Google, Google Mobile, Google WAP Proxy, Wireless, Wireless browsing [/tags]

Saturday afternoon RSS and Web 2.0 aggregated roundup

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Here’s a few cool RSS and Web 2.0 things I’ve found on my journey around the Web this Saturday afternoon.

I think I have almost found holy grail of adding the cleverhack RSS feed to several RSS feed readers at once. The service is called MultiRSS.

Talking about RSS and the new My AOL feeds beta which is looking all Web 2.0, I’m amused by this not evil user agent for the MY AOL feed crawler.
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 Compatible - AOL xpRSS (not evil) 1.0

And now you can add cleverhack RSS feeds to MY AOL.

Finally, I came across this blogspot blog which seems to be doing similar RSS and Web 2.0 research/messing around/etc. as I am. What intrigues me the most is the blog’s feedburner feed in which, if you look closely, the author managed to embed links to del.icio.us, My Web Yahoo and furl. So, basically the user reading the feed wouldn’t have to initially enter a browser to begin the bookmarking process. I thought that was clever.

Finally, yet another Web 2.0 social bookmarking service called Blue Dot. Props to the user interface, although it’s yet another Web 2.0 social bookmarking service so I am not sure what differentiates it from other services.

[tags]RSS, RSS feeds, RSS Readers, Web 2.0, MultiRSS, My AOL, Blue Dot[/tags]

Google Desktop question

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Here’s the log for someone using Google Desktop to read my feed….

/feed/

Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 05 07:35:02 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 24988

Referer: -

Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; Google Desktop)

Now I can see this person is a regular feed subscriber as the user agent hits my site regularly, I can see them clickthrough to posts, etc. All well and good, etc.

Now my question is, does Google Desktop hit a site’s RSS feed when the person is just viewing a site but is not subscribed to the site’s RSS feed? This behavior would be similar to Firefox hitting a site’s RSS Feed and showing the nicely orange RSS icon in the address bar.

I would test this behavior but there is no Mac OSX version of Google Desktop.

[tags]Google Desktop, RSS, RSS feeds, RSS Readers[/tags]