Tag Archives: Google

Google Street View Cars In The Crosshairs… Again

File under: Check to make sure you actually didn’t do it, before saying that you didn’t do it.

While, in my opinion, the bitching and moaning about Google and it’s Street View project has been tiresome, it’s hard to overlook some things. In this case, questions were raised by the German government concerning Google ‘s WiFi data collecting while it’s Street View cars are driving around, taking pictures of everything. Apparently, at one point in Germany, Google collected information about WiFi networks they were not supposed to collect.

Google, red faced, blamed this on some code an engineer wrote for a WiFi experiment. If that’s true, so be it. Delete the collected information and the code and move along. But make sure that the data collection DID NOT happen before you write blog postings saying that you don’t engage in those kinds of practices. It’s annoying having to sift through all of the tinfoil hat comments…

Roundup: Google Nixes IE6 Support, Google Chrome 4 And GTA IV DLCs

Google dumps IE6 development… and it’s about time!

I have been waiting for this news for years now. Albeit this is may or may not exactly be the reason (IE6 support for YouTube ended six months ago), in the aftermath of the “IE exploited from China” fiasco, Google has decided to cease developing and supporting web-based applications for Internet Explorer 6 starting with Google Docs and Google Sites. While this does not mean the web-based applications will not work in IE6, this means that Google will not be testing new features for it’s web-based applications for IE6 compatibility.

I have been whining and moaning about this in other postings on my blog. Microsoft tried and failed at making the internet the way they thought it should be made. I’m well aware that there are people still using IE6 and heck, they are even some people using IE5.5. Thanks to these people/companies, it’s become a gargantuan task to make sure that the websites developers, like myself, make are compatible with IE6.

An issue arose one time at my last job, when the guy above me mentioned that something I had made was not working in Mozilla Firefox 1. something. He showed me some statistics showing that a couple of people were still using around that version of Firefox. I argued that we shouldn’t be slowing down development because a couple of people use an old version of anything – including Firefox. As I stated in other postings, Microsoft has left the job of weening users from old versions to new versions of browsers (I still disagree that it should only be up to us, not MS). The old thinking that we developers need to create and support for those in the minority who are still using very old browsers, in effect, is stifling development and innovation. Regardless of what the reason, kudos to Google for dumping IE6 compatibility.

Google Chrome… now with bookmarks floating on clouds

Earlier this week, Google dropped Chrome 4 on to us touting faster performance, better HTML 5 support and synced bookmarks. While faster performance and HTML 5 support are always nice, the synced bookmark feature is something that I have been wanting for some time now. It’s very annoying have to export bookmarks on one computer and put them somewhere else. By using your Google ID, you can sync your bookmarks at any location. So if you add or delete a bookmark in one location, the changes will be made the next time you use Chrome at another location.

“Episodes from Liberty City” coming to PC and PS3

Finally GTA IV’s “Episodes from Liberty City” will be coming to those of us who do not have an Xbox 360. For the past year, 360 owners have enjoyed exclusive rights to download and play first the “Lost and the Damned” episode and then “The Ballad of Gay Tony”. 360 exclusive rights to “Episodes” will end on March 30th. The episodes can either be downloaded or bought on disc. The disc version contains 3 new radio stations, extra music and it is standalone, meaning you do not need to own GTA IV to play “Episodes”.

Enough With Internet Explorer 6 Already!

In the news recently, Google has made accusations that people within China have used exploits within Internet Explorer to access Gmail accounts of activists and dissidents as well as going after tech and industrial companies in the United States. Versign’s iDefense unit confirmed that attacks had taken place.

A couple of days later, code used in the attack was released publicly. Microsoft confirmed that the code is included within Internet Explorer 7 and 8 but that the code could only be exploited in Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Microsoft used this opportunity to tout Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8 saying, “Hey! We have more secure products right here!”

I have a huge problem with this for a couple of reasons. Only a few months ago, Microsoft reiterated it’s continued support of IE6 explaining that people expect everything they got in an operating system will continue to work throughout it’s life span. Even with the massive security problems, Microsoft continued to support IE6. But with this newest and probably worst security flaw for IE6, is Microsoft singing a different tune? No, they are not. They only want to sell more Windows 7 DVDs.

As I explained in this posting, there are many companies – large and small – who are still using Windows XP. Many of those companies are still using IE6 to support web-based software written by hacks who thought it was a good idea to only develop for IE6. In that posting, I pointed out an Ars Technica article which supported Microsoft’s take that they could not stop supporting IE6. I still believe that this is a bad position to take. I can only point out the troubles I have developing web sites and programs trying to support a NINE YEAR OLD program. Web technology has left IE6 in the dust but yet we web developers are still expected to support it. And then we are told that while we support it, we need to tell people that they should upgrade to IE8 because, “It’s more secure!”

Cut the crap already! People won’t listen to people like me. I’m just some asshole with a blog. But they will listen to Microsoft. And the best thing Microsoft could say is that they will kill support for IE6. As for other web programmers, stop writing code for IE6. IT Admins, move the company to IE8. Stop hiding behind lame excuses about money, time or the “training” it will take to bring all of the automatons in the company up to speed with IE8.

Google Caffine Is Coming After The Holidays

According to Google’s man in the trenches, Matt Cutts, Google is going to take it easy on all of us webmasters by deciding to not deploy Google’s new Caffeine architecture until after the holidays. In the meantime, Caffeine will be deployed at one data center and a small percentage of Google users will be “using” Caffeine. In response to a comment about the exact time in relation to the “holidays”, Matt said, “I don’t think you’ll see Caffeine on multiple data centers before January.”

In an earlier post I mentioned that Google SERP updates were taking place and that many web sites have noticed position changes. Matt said that Google did not want to add more stress onto webmasters who could already be feeling the heat from the current changes. Google is usually silent when an Index update hits and this catches many people off-guard. For people like myself, I know to expect Google index updates around this time of the year.

Also, it should be noted that when Caffeine is fully deployed most users will not notice any changes. For the most part, SERPs should be mostly unaffected but don’t quote me on this! Vigilance should be practiced anyways just in case. Good luck to all. 😀

Google SERP Updates

Over the past week or so changes to Google’s index have taken place. Word around the proverbial campfire is that search algorithm changes have been made. A friend, who works for a local company, messaged me this morning telling me that they had a set of pages drop from the index.

More than ever, Google is rummaging through web pages, searching for relevant content. The problem could be that the content inside the <h1> tag was useless because it did not tell Google what was contained on that page. So, their immediate fix was to change what was inside their <h1> tags.

The tag contained only one word and it was repeated on many different pages. This could be problem number one. Because of this, they did not have any keywords inside the tag so they added some keywords there along with text describing what is on the page. They also added the META description tag to add some descriptive text to the description of the page in the SERPs. This might also help them in the long run because Google also checks for keywords within the META description tag.

Hopefully this helps in their problem!

We also took a look at one of their competitor’s sites. They had hidden text within some of their <h1> tags. Google looks down on this. If you focus on SEO, remember to not hide text with keywords in it. Google considers this a deceptive practice and it will remove your pages from it’s index if it finds out that you are doing this.