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Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

AlXtreme Re:Advertised on YouTube? (97 comments)

As you discovered, advertising is only worthwhile if you are reaching the proper audience. Adwords should be a last-resort as it is way too easy to cast a very wide net and takes quite a bit of effort to tweak.

From your description you had the 'content network' enabled in Adwords, which is indeed a very easy way to waste your budget on useless visitors. The content network means that your ads could be shown on all the sites out there that use Adsense (I think you mixed Adsense and Adwords: Adwords is Googles ad-delivery platform and costs money, Adsense shows those ads on non-Google websites and allows the website to earn money).

Stick to the 'search network' (Google.com and related sites) only and limit your keywords to only the most relevant ones. Google will automatically broaden searches, so learn how to adjust your keywords to limit their range and use negative keywords to avoid matches on irrelevant searches.

Also, I've often seen Google mentioning that I should set the cost-per-click higher as my ads weren't showing, but they were showing regardless.

So for those of you looking to use Adwords: start off slowly and know that just as you are tweaking your keywords and prices, so does Google tweak their algorithms to get the most out of advertisers. You don't become a megacorp by giving out free lunches.

about 6 months ago

Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party'

AlXtreme Re:Even a Tea Party can be right occsionally (419 comments)

While individual components are being published as GPLv3, they're requesting, and getting, written permission from some contributors to re-publish the code under alternative licenses, at Canonical's whim. That is releasing licensing rights to someone else. Even if Canonical proves trustworthy (and they've not, due to their strange browser collection data practices), that goes far beyond most open source or freeware licenses.

Although I enjoy slinging mud, copyright assignments and contribution agreements are commonplace when contributing to larger free/open source projects.

Transferring copyright for example to GNU is mandatory when contributing, gives the project the flexibility to relicense in case an upgrade is in order (like GPLv2->GPLv3) and avoids having to hunt down all individual contributors in case a change in license is required. Such agreements are in place with Apache and Mozilla too.

All things considered, GNU would indeed be more trustworthy in my book than Canonical (if only because GNU doesn't have a commercial motive) but regardless when an "entity" does the bulk of the work I think it's fair to allow them the flexibility to relicense when contributing.

It is a different situation when the owning "entity" drops the ball and the community does the bulk of the work, but then the option to fork is always open. LibreOffice serves as a nice reminder that being able to relicense doesn't mean much if the community decides to fork and move on.

about a year ago

The Android Lag Fix That Really Wasn't

AlXtreme Re:Does it matter? (226 comments)

Its not actual lag so much as poor UI choices that are perceived as lag at this point in my opinion, but I most certainly can 'feel' the lag.

We're currently finishing up a fairly simple music app for Android with a couple of fun features.

In the beginning we were fussing around a lot with the Android UI and Audio APIs, as the lag when a user pressed a button widget until audio was played was very noticeable, we couldn't get rid of it. After hitting a brick wall we simply started from scratch using only a blank canvas, manually drawing buttons and handling events and the like and things worked perfectly.

So I the lag we (and probably everyone else) experiences has little to do with Dalvik but everything to do with the Android UI widget event handling, it causes unresponsive UIs.

I never noticed it before but now I see it all over the place. The only apps that don't have it are games and apps like ours who sidestep most of the Android Widget/Event API and go the manual route.

about 2 years ago

Mark Cuban: Facebook Is Driving Away Brands — Starting With Mine

AlXtreme Re:That is cheap (299 comments)

Recently even the Kernel developers got caught into this mess, having Linus calling some maintainer of UDEV a lier.
Google UDEV and systemd to see the whole gory mess, and mind my words, this is only the beginning of the troubles in GNU/Linux land.

People disagree with each other and call each other names on the internet, wow what an eye-opener.

If you think this is bad you might want to look back a few years on lkml, or any other major open source project. Given the ego's and the ability to instantly spout a reply from the top of your head it's a miracle there are intelligent discussions at all on the Internet.

Disagreements and differing interests go all the way back and are one of the reasons we have such a huge eco-system of Free software. IMHO without them we still would be waiting for HURD.

more than 2 years ago

Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

AlXtreme Re:Excellent (1576 comments)

Man do we need a new system, something where we can have multiple parties like they have in EU, gotta be better than this "Coke VS Pepsi" races we have here.

Although I understand the sentiment (and a lot of Europeans agree that FPTP isn't a way to hold an election) I'm reconsidering my own stance: The US system, with all its flaws and winner-takes-it-all mechanics, seems to me to provide a stronger leadership than that we see on continental Europe.

As you know over here we have many parties in our senate/house-equivalents, some big and some small, and all play their part above the ~1% voter threshold. Either they end up in the opposition or they end up in a coalition government.

The problem is that a coalition government often is far removed from what the majority of the public want: a lifeless compromise at best, but often with internal strife as any coalition party can derail the government and cause new elections.

It's a piss-poor way to lead a country during good times and it's actively detrimental in times of crisis.

"Coke vs Pepsi" might not sound so great, but it might be better than ending up with Coke, Mountain Dew and Ginger Ale all in a single can and shaken vigorously. Be careful what you wish for...

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Approach To Reenergize an Old Programmer?

AlXtreme Re:Are there really Python jobs? (360 comments)

Funny you mention this.

A few weeks ago at our local PUN meeting (60-70 attendees) there were a number of people standing up between presentations, telling something about themselves and asking if anyone looking for a job to contact them.

Then our meeting leader caught on and asked the audience who else was looking for Python programmers. About 50% raised their hands.

Then he asked who in the audience was looking for a Python job. Nobody raised their hand.

After an awkward silence laughter erupted.

Go into Python and you'll have a job tomorrow.

more than 2 years ago

How We'll Get To 54.5 Mpg By 2025

AlXtreme Re:Here's an idea (717 comments)

I drive 40+ miles to work each day. I am about to drive 250+ miles to meet with a customer. America is not as densely populated as Europe. Cars are how we travel. This is why we won't buy the small cars that are popular in Europe.

This is rubbish, the average commute is rather short and comparable on both sides of the pond, and I regularly drive straight through France and Germany. We too drive a lot.

The real reason why large cars don't sell and small cars do sell in Europe is because of the insane gas prices. When you pay $10/gallon you will change your driving habits or your type of car.

I just got myself a new car which is quite large for European standards, it goes 40mpg which is decent. But more and more commuters are going for efficient smaller cars (50-60mpg) because of increasing fuel costs, the difference means that the car pays for itself within a few years.

If fuel costs were the same I'd bet every family here would want an SUV too.

more than 2 years ago

Curiosity Rover Makes First Foursquare Check-In On Another Planet

AlXtreme Re:Check In from Mars (92 comments)

In that case it's time to pay up!

more than 2 years ago

Valve Blog Announces Dates For Steam Linux External Beta

AlXtreme Re:Will WINE be involved? (183 comments)

Well, Steam + TF2 already works in wine, with a few quirks. I'd expect them to start from there and slowly spread to other major distributions starting with Ubuntu, there's only so much you'd want to support this early in the game.

Although I'd wish Value would go Linux-native (I'm not sure if they have confirmed this), it would indeed take much more time to port each non-Source third-party game and having Valve actively supporting wine would mean more improvements for wine in general. It would be a big step-up from the Cedega/Transgaming attempts from the last decade.

more than 2 years ago

Schneier: We Don't Need SHA-3

AlXtreme Re:Too slow? (143 comments)

I just found an SQL injection attack and downloaded the whole password database. I know crack it at my own leisure.

If the passwords are decently salted and the salt is unknown good luck with that. Remember to switch planets when the Sun goes nova.

more than 2 years ago

Riot Breaks Out At Foxconn

AlXtreme Re:Well don't look to Google for answers! (456 comments)

The other funny thing about posting that Tumblr link is that from time to time it shows Apple maps are better in some cases.

iOS6: Perfect if you're not leaving North Korea anytime soon!

more than 2 years ago

Dutch Court Rules Hyperlinks Can Constitute Infringement

AlXtreme Re:Extremely interesting case (203 comments)

Why would publishing a link to another site be illegal? If someone knew your username and password providing a direct login-link would probably violate slashdot's ToS but I can't follow the step to such a link being illegal.

What the judge did was equating publishing a link to a previously unknown copyrighted work with publishing the copyrighted work itself. It would be the same as making it illegal to tell people they can find ABC on the pirate bay if no one knew so before.

It was clear from the ruling and the reaction that this ruling came from a judge who doesn't understand that you can't be responsible for the content when you link to another party. It will be overturned in the appeal, or it will be the end of Google over here.

more than 2 years ago

EVE Online CSM and Diplomat Killed in Libyan Consulate Attacks

AlXtreme Re:Batshit Crazy! (680 comments)

Mainstream TV. It has already destroyed all complex intelligence on the planet.

The terrorists have lost, wohoo!

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Work In IT Freelancing?

AlXtreme Just do it. (140 comments)

Simply start doing small, simple projects next to your regular studies, whatever helps out others and if it pays the bills even better.

Your goal shouldn't be looking for the most large, lucrative projects, just keep it simple so you can gain experience with freelancing without too many headaches. Your long-term goal should instead be amassing a large network of people who know you and who see you as an (up and coming) expert.

Freelancing / consulting has everything to do with the people you know. The larger and more diverse your network, the easier it becomes because there will always be plenty of people looking for someone like you.

This takes time so my advice would be to continue studying, working on open source projects and taking a part-time job so you can gain experience and contacts. Once you're a few years down this road you'll know when you are in a position to become a full-time freelancer: you'll get more work thrown at you than you can cope with.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

AlXtreme Re:It's not broken. (1154 comments)

The problem is actually bugs in the handling of tables and form data from .doc/.docx files in LibreOffice.

This. A thousand times this.

Businesses and people are used to MS Word. They don't like it, they simply cope and can be fairly sure a document created in it can be read and changed by another user without too many problems. It's the defacto standard, and any alternative needs to deal with that standard.

In spite of all the effort gone into Star/Open/LibreOffice compatibility over the past 15 years it has always been hit-or-miss when opening a Word document. As long as you can't rely on a compatible Office suite users will simply stay with MS Office, and thus Windows/OS X.

The average user uses their PC to browse the web, read their email and as a fancy typewriter. Get that working properly and you can play ball.

more than 2 years ago

Texas Opens Fastest US Highway With 85 MPH Limit

AlXtreme Re:There's nothing Darwin about it. (992 comments)

On the Autobahn things can indeed get rather tense when it's busy. But as everyone knows the speed difference between drivers going in the same direction is high (You have trucks plowing along at 60mph while Audi's in the left lane easily going 100-120mph) your average driver tends to be very alert and respectful. You have to be, because not checking your mirrors means you're going to cause a pile-up.

The clowns thinking they belong on the left lane are quickly corrected. If you're a poor driver feel free to take the highway but stick to the right lane.

more than 2 years ago

Artificial Jellyfish Built From Silicone and Rat Cells

AlXtreme Re:Why? (61 comments)

Why not?

This isn't about making artificial jellyfish, it's about creating new organisms made out of both organic and inorganic material. Regardless of use, I think this is rather awesome.

more than 2 years ago

MD5crypt Password Scrambler Is No Longer Considered Safe

AlXtreme Re:Use cases (212 comments)

I tend to use 'apg' when generating passwords, neat little tool. Aliased as 'apg -a 1 -m 12 -x 16' though, as the default generator goes for pronounceable passwords that are too short for my taste:

% apg
N6.H+i/^rcGo5`p ;a-_)wg}~*Xu~z

If someone brute-forces those they have earned it.

more than 2 years ago

LinkedIn Password Hashes Leaked Online

AlXtreme Re:Hashes list link (271 comments)

My hash was on the list, in full. It was an old password, but a non-trivial long combination of (upper & lowercase) characters & numbers. Ouch!

more than 2 years ago

Startup Applies For 307 GTLDs

AlXtreme Re:AOL Keywords (239 comments)

Imagine typing only "google" into the address bar and getting google.

Even better: try it! I've seen too many people access Google via IE/Bing this way.

Between integrated search, bookmarks and Facebook pages these "exclusive" domain names are already rather redundant. Users will hit Google first when searching for something, they're used to it.

How will Ticketmaster inform users they can simply enter 'tickets' into their addressbar? "Shouldn't there be a .com behind that?" At least with 'tickets.com' it's clear you're talking about a domainname.

But I guess the internet marketing types are all drooling about even more TLDs that go nowhere.

more than 2 years ago


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