It looks like another collection of links have piled up in my "to blog" list which I don't have enough thoughts on to warrant an entire blog post.

  • Help Find Jim Gray - Jim Gray has been missing for about a week and the efforts to find him by various technology companies has been impressive. From the post "Through a major effort by many people [ed - from NASA, Digital Globe, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Amazon and others] we were able to have the Digital Globe satellite make a run over the area on Thursday morning and have the data made available publicly. We have split these images into smaller tiles that can be easily scanned visually and stored into the Amazon S3 storage service. We then created tasks for reviewing these images and loaded then into the Amazon Mechanical Turk Service.".

    This is a rather powerful use of Amazon's technology platform and the wisdom of the crowds to try to save a life. If you'd like to help in reviewing sattellite images on the Amazon Mechanical Turk service to help locate Jim Gray go here.

  • The Limits of Democracy - I read this article at the gym last week and the following excerpt stung like a body blow, "Bush's arrogance has turned people off the idea of democracy," says Larry Diamond, co-editor of the Journal of Democracy.But he goes on: "There's a lot more to it than that. We need to face up to the fact that in many developing countries democracy is not working very well." Diamond points to several countries where elections have been followed by governmental paralysis, corruption and ethnic warfare. The poster child for this decline has to be Nigeria, a country often lauded for its democracy. In fact, the place is in free fall—an oil-rich country with per capita GDP down to $390 (from $1,000 20 years ago), a ranking below Bangladesh on the United Nations Human Development Index, and with a third of the country having placed itself under Sharia."

    I've wrote a blog post in response to this article but decided against posting it for obvious reasons. The only observation I'll make in public is that it is unfortunate that the problems with Bush's [lack of a] strategy in Iraq has now moved the Overton Window to a place where people talk wistfully about when the United States supported brutal dictatorships which supported its policies instead of trying to encourage democracy in developing countries. Especially since a lot of the current ethnic woes facing many emerging democracies trace their roots back to meddling by colonial powers.

  • Position Paper For the Workshop on Web of Services for Enterprise Computing - The problem summary for the paper is "Web Services based on SOAP and WSDL are 'Web' in name only. In fact, they are a hostile overlay of the Web based on traditional enterprise middleware architectural styles that has fallen far short of expectations over the past decade". Wow, a VP at Gartner submitting a position paper with the above summary must be a sign of the end times.

  • Here, women propose marriage and men can't refuse. From the story highlights "Woman presents special plate of fish to man; he takes a bite and is engaged. Matriarchal society exists in archipelago of 50 islands off Guinea-Bissau. Missionaries bring new concept of men proposing, causing strife in families".

    I thought the days of missionaries coming to Africa and destroying centuries of African culture converting the heathens to the ways of Christianity ended in the 19th century. Are we in a time warp here?

  • In wake of 2 fatal shootings, some question police tactics - Undercover cops pretending to be drug dealers end up shooting an 80 year old man who confused them for actual drug dealers selling drugs on his property. The statement from the police makes it seem like they consider this the equivalent of a bureaucratic foul up. Sad.


Monday, February 5, 2007 5:10:03 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I remember reading your post about visiting home, the one cited in Wikipedia. Thanks for the link to the article. I admit to being curious and feeling that it was somehow impolite to ask, although we've only spoken briefly in person.

I would not have thought to look on Wikipedia. Do you find the article as it is this moment to be reasonably balanced?
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 11:32:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
You are quite the firebrand! Keep fighting the good fight brother.
Rowdy Roddy
Friday, February 16, 2007 10:15:07 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Google spam filters and how to avoid them

Google tries to keep its search results as clean as possible. For that reason, they have a variety of spam filters in their ranking algorithm that try to remove low quality web sites.

If your web site gets caught by one of these filters, it will be very difficult to get high Google rankings. In the next articles, we'll take a look a the 15 most common Google spam filters and we'll tell you how you can get around them.

Google's Sandbox, Google's Trust Rank and Google's domain age filter

These three Google filters all take a look at the age of a web site. Many web sites don't get very old. For that reason, Google implemented a filter that prevents new web sites from getting high rankings for competitive search terms. That filter is called Google's sandbox.

Google's TrustRank filter is closely related to that filter. Web sites with a high TrustRank get high rankings on Google. The TrustRank of a web site is determined by the age of a web site, the quality of inbound links and the contents of a web site.

The domain age filter is another filter that considers the age of your web site. Web sites with old domain names are more likely to get high rankings for competitive keywords on Google.

Further information about the sandbox, Google's TrustRank and domain name filters can be found in these articles:

Google's SandBox and TrustRank filters and your web site
How to get out of Google's Sandbox
Google ranking secrets revealed, part II
Google ranking secrets revealed, part I
How to get around these filters

It's not easy to get around these filters. As they all consider the age of your web site, you basically have to wait some time until Google releases your web site from the sandbox.

The best thing that you can do is to work on the content of your web site to show Google's web page spider that your web site is a valuable resource for your topic. Make sure that your web pages are relevant to your search terms.

In addition, get good inbound links to increase the TrustRank of your web site. The better the links to your web site, the higher your TrustRank and the higher your web site will rank on Google.

Next week, we're going to take a look at three link filters that Google uses to remove web sites from the search results.

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