Google Owns You – Part 3 – Google Bookmarks – Are your bookmarks really yours?

Another part to the original article: Google Owns You! if you haven’t a chance to read it yet, check it out before you continue. If you have read it, enjoy, and I hope to hear your comments! If you surf the web at all, you’ve probably noticed that Google is popping up everywhere… they’re getting involved with a little of everything,

and most of the time, they’re able to take a large portion of the market simply because their products are just better than everything else that is out there. This article will look at Google Bookmarks – all the links that you save into your Google Account. The links that should be yours, but are now stored on a server (or multiple servers) somewhere at the Googleplex.

Just like Gmail, with Google Bookmarks, Google effectively has a way to test the popularity of links, pages, etc. and from that could do many things – for profit or not. For instance, Google could target advertisers and start bidding wars for people to be placed on the highest bookmarked sites (which they may already do within adwords). Or, Google could read through an individuals bookmarks and send keyword (or page) specific advertisements based on what a user has bookmarked in his/her Google Account – this is a very viable option for Google to start making butt-loads of cash, though I think its against all of their privacy policies, and I’m pretty sure that they’d lose a large percentage of their marketshare if they started selling or advertising to their list of users.

My personal opinion of Google Bookmarks is that it is a great tool for managing all of your bookmarks in a single place, especially if you don’t want the world to be able to browse through what you’ve bookmarked (like you can on del.ico.us). So this on, I’m going to have to give the point to Google – Google Bookmarks are more helpful than anything.

Score

Google: 3
Skeptics: 0

Guitar Hero Vision – Motion After Effect

I recently purchased Guitar Hero II for my Xbox 360 and just like most people, I play new games like crazy right when I get them. After playing about 5 songs in a row, I noticed that the screen, and anything else I looked at seemed like it was still moving. After watching the colored notes fly by for about 5 minutes at a time, my eyes adjusted and seemed to expect the same movement from everything

else… including my coffee table. Pretty trippy stuff.

The motion after effect (MAE) -is a visual illusion perceived after watching a moving visual stimulus for about a minute and then looking at stationary stimulus. The stationary stimulus appears to move slightly for about 15 seconds, opposite to the direction of the original (physically moving) stimulus. The motion aftereffect is believed to be the result of motion adaptation. – From Wikipedia

If one stares consistently at movement in a particular direction for even a short time, subsequently viewed stationary scenes briefly appear to move in the opposite direction.

This phenomenon was known to the Ancient Greeks, but the first modern report of it is often attributed to Robert Addams (1834), who observed the effect while viewing a waterfall at Foyers in Scotland. The ‘motion after-effect’ can be explained by adaptation in visual neurones that respond selectively to moving contours in the image (see Barlow and Hill, 1963). In the absence of image motion, cells tuned to different directions produce roughly equal responses. Exposure to a particular direction of motion alters this balance in favour of cells tuned to the opposite direction, leading to the illusion. A review of modern research on the phenomenon can be found in Mather et al. (1998).

I wish I could post a video of what it looks like after playing, but I unfortunately can’t record what my eyes are generating. To give you an idea, take a look at this picture. Still Motion The picture is completely still (you know it’s not moving because it is a JPG image – only GIF images can be animated), but it appears to be moving. After playing too much Guitar Hero, I can look at something that is copmletely still (my coffee table) and it appears to be moving. My minds playin’ tricks on me. Does anyone know if this is good or bad? Can it hurt your vision?

Skin Care Products and Skin Care Solutions – Great Gifts for Women

Every year around Mother’s Day, I find myself in a bind, wondering what to get Mom for Mother’s Day. Typically I spend days and days wandering through the mall aimlessly trying to find a gift that I think Mom will like, but over the past couple of years, I have been buying quality skin care products from California Body Care. The thing that I like about California Body Care is that its not a huge brand that can be bought at every store you visit, its a smaller brand that offers quality skin care systems and great customer service. For the past two years, I’ve picked up something for my Mom from the Sensitive Skin collection and it never seems to disappoint.

Windows Vista Install Error – This computer is not compliant with the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) standard

While installing Windows Vista on a computer (on that I had previously had a copy of Vista installed on) I ran into the following error while installing Vista from while running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). I tried installing Vista on this machine by booting from a CD, and by installing Vista from within Windows XP.

While booting from CD, I’d get a Blue Screen everytime, and when installing from within Windows XP SP2, I’d get the following message:

You must make the following changes before installing Windows:

This computer is not compliant with the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) standard. Windows must be installed onto a computer that supports ACPI. Contact your computer manufacturer for a BIOS update or install Windows on an ACPI-compliant computer.

The compatibility report will be saved to the Windows desktop.

My computer is running an ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard with and AMD Athlon 3700+ processor, 1GB of RAM, so on and so forth. I went into my BIOS and verified that it was ACPI compliant, tried installing again with no luck. The solution to my problem was as follows:

Solution

Tweak your serial and parallel port settings in the BIOS. I changed my parallel port from IRQ5 to IRQ7 along with some other setting that I can’t remember offhand (I don’t think it really matters because nobody uses parallel ports anymore anyways) so just tweak away. After changing these setting, I booted up from the Windows Vista CD and was able to install everything just fine with no quirks.

April Web Traffic and Revenue Report

Back in the beginning of April when I wrote up my March Web Traffic and Revenue Report, March had by far been my most successful month to date, but just as before, the current month outpaced all previous months by a long shot; both in traffic and revenue. Before looking at all the numbers in detail, let’s revisit my short term goals for my site. My main goal in the short term was to reach 2.5 pageviews per visit. In March, my site had its best month in terms of pages per visit at 1.71.

I had been working on implementing changes and updates that would allow me to increase my pageviews per visit, and though it did help, I still haven’t reached my short term goal. In April, I averaged 1.92 pageviews per visit, and just like previous months, this is a step in the right direction, however, I still have a ways to go before I hit my goal. It doesn’t seem like it’d be that difficult – if you think about it, for every two visitors that my site gets, I just need to get them to view a combined total of 1 extra page (or a half page each). I think my problem so far has been that many articles on my site are solution-based; meaning I have written about a solution to a problem I’ve encountered, so what happens is people search for a problem that their having, find the solution on my site and then leave… I call these people the “One Hitter Quitters”.

Back to the real story… the numbers. In April, my visitors more than doubled and my pageviews nearly tripled. Not bad, right? Not bad at all in my opinion, however, I’m still looking for better ways to acquire a larger reader base. As mentioned before, it seems like most of my traffic comes from people who are looking for a quick answer… even though I do write intriguing series of articles. 😉 In April, my site maintained a fairly steady amount of traffic with a couple spikes during the month (due to articles being linked in forums and on Digg.com, though I still have yet to make it to the front page of Digg). April brought an average of about 1,250 pageviews per day and about 750 visitors per day. See the Google Analytics graph below for some traffic details.

April Web Traffic and Revenue Report - Visits and Pageviews

Looking at the graph, you’ll see a couple large traffic spike during the month, check out the next page to find out why!

Windows must be installed onto a computer that supports ACPI – Windows Vista Install Problems

Troubles installing Windows Vista… will Microsoft ever get it right? Or is it not their fault this time? While installing Windows Vista on a computer (on that I had previously had a copy of Vista installed on) I ran into the following error while installing Vista from while running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). I tried installing Vista on this machine by booting from a CD, and by installing Vista from within Windows XP.

While booting from CD, I’d get a Blue Screen everytime, and when installing from within Windows XP SP2, I’d get the following message:

You must make the following changes before installing Windows:

This computer is not compliant with the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) standard. Windows must be installed onto a computer that supports ACPI. Contact your computer manufacturer for a BIOS update or install Windows on an ACPI-compliant computer.

The compatibility report will be saved to the Windows desktop.

My computer is running an ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard with and AMD Athlon 3700+ processor, 1GB of RAM, so on and so forth. I went into my BIOS and verified that it was ACPI compliant, tried installing again with no luck. The solution to my problem was as follows:

Here’s Your Solution

Tweak your serial and parallel port settings in the BIOS. I changed my parallel port from IRQ5 to IRQ7 along with some other setting that I can’t remember offhand (I don’t think it really matters because nobody uses parallel ports anymore anyways) so just tweak away. After changing these setting, I booted up from the Windows Vista CD and was able to install everything just fine with no quirks.