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May 12, 2014

Cloud Storage, Sync and Peer-to-Peer Apps for Desktop and Mobile Devices

Cloud storage and desktop/mobile synchronization has become a relatively mature field with multiple players offering great solutions for personal and business use.  Here's is my quick list of providers:

The short descriptions above don't fully capture the richness of each products features which differ substantially.

While each of these provides a system to synchronize your files between a centralized cloud storage system and other devices, there has been a rise in peer-to-peer applications that enable you to transfer files from one device directly to another (without the cloud). This has advantages including speed, security, autonomy and control. In addition to Cubby, I've used AeroFS and BTSync with great success.

Posted by tim at 11:38 AM

July 4, 2011

The Changing Tides of Social Networking

The landscape is shifting (dramatically) and Google is in the process of launching a revolutionary social media platform that is likely to change at least part of your online strategy, search engine optimization (SEO) and the way you interact with various social groups. It’s called Google+ (Google Plus).

Fundamentally, Google+ is a social network that has been built from the ground up around the concept of Circles, Hangouts and Sparks. Each circle, which you define, is a group of contacts, friends, acquaintances, and/or family that you categorize in a certain way. The benefit of this system, as compared to Facebook or LinkedIn, is that it enables you to share information that is specific to each circle.

Using Hangouts, you can real-time chat and video conference with those in Circles and Sparks brings the power of Google's information aggregation capability to the serve your interests.

Detailed Information: Google+ (Plus) for Businesses, Publishers and Bloggers

Posted by tim at 12:10 PM

May 21, 2010

Making Money with Google Ads

One of the ways bloggers generate revenue to pay for their hosting costs and website domain names is by adding Google Adsense advertisements. In particular, even though smaller blogs (such as blogicus), are unable to attract blogads advertisers, Google Adsense can provide enough income to pay for the cost of blogging and perhaps a weekly Starbucks coffee or two.

To make the advertisements effective, they must be matched to the content and be placed in an effective position. Theoretically, Google inserts ads that are contextual, based upon the surrounding text. In practice, this is often not the case, in part because bloggers obscure their content, making both contextual assessment and indexing difficult.

Here are a few suggestions based upon my experience that will improve ad relevancy and revenue.

First, place your content as close to the top of your html source code as possible. In other words, when using multiple columns, the center should always be displayed first. Many blogs have side columns that are so loaded with links, ads and other paraphernalia that the content of individual posts becomes obscured. Putting the content first appears to help Google select appropriate advertisements and is of benefit for search engine optimization.

Blogicus is a three column lay-out but if you examine the source code you’ll find that the content follows right after each page’s header. As a result, the blog enjoys a fair amount of traffic (for a small blog) from search engines and ad relevancy has improved through time.

Second, always use header tags (h1, h2, etc) for your titles. In a related post at Problogger, Darren suggests

Post titles are important for search engine optimization as the search engines assume that what you put in your titles tells your readers what your site is about. Similarly they are important for AdSense.
This has been my experience as well and it should be noted that the way Google locates titles amid all the other tags and content is via the header tags. This makes them of great importance to the categorization of contextual advertisements and search engine placement. I found a significant improvement when I began using <h1> tags used for all post titles.

Third, use unique keywords, descriptions and titles in your meta tags that represent your content. Most blogging packages have plugins for generating these automatically and some, such as MovableType, have fields enabling manual additions. Take the time to make sure there is a unique combination of each so that your posts will be indexed and those searching will be able to find your content.

The keyword meta tag appears in the <head> section of your html code and uses the following format: <meta name="keywords" content="keywords go here">. Similarly, the description is contained in the tag: <meta name="description" content="the description goes here">. And, your post's title should appear like this: <title>the title goes here</title>.

Fourth, Google does provide a means to target only the relevant portion of each page for ad determination. You simply place a code before and after each post’s content (click here for more information).

Finally, place ads in positions the provide exposure but not interference. My experience is that the bottom of the post produces the most relevant ads and highest click through percentage. I look at it this way: your readers don’t want ads interfering with their access to information and won't be attracted to a site the appears spammy. However, once they’ve completed reading, there may be more relevant information available from an advertiser.

How to get started? Simply use your Google account to apply for Adsense.

Note: this is a relevant blast from the past

Posted by tim at 8:34 PM

December 20, 2009

The Irony: Blizzard Mocks Global Warming Summit


President Barack Obama returns from the Copenhagen Global Warming Summit to be greeted by a record snowstorm. Some apparently refer to this as the "Gore Effect".

Posted by tim at 1:04 AM

November 27, 2009

Greenpeaces Admits Emotional Hype

It's all right here:

Gerd Leipold, the outgoing leader of Greenpeace, admitted that his organization's recent claim that the Arctic Ice will disappear by 2030 was "a mistake." Greenpeace said in a July 15 press release that there will be an ice-free Arctic by 2030 because of global warming. BBC reporter Stephen Sackur on the "Hardtalk" program pressed Leipold until he admitted the claim was wrong
Leipold also admitted that emotive reasoning is part of their modus operandi (i.e., lying is justified for the sake of the cause).

Posted by tim at 11:55 AM

November 21, 2009

Global Warming: Leaked emails and baffled scientists

Respected climate researchers must be reeling following the disclosure of private emails that suggest spin and cover-up instead of observation and analysis:

In one leaked e-mail, the research center's director, Phil Jones, writes to colleagues about graphs showing climate statistics over the last millennium. He alludes to a technique used by a fellow scientist to "hide the decline" in recent global temperatures. Some evidence appears to show a halt in a rise of global temperatures from about 1960, but is contradicted by other evidence which appears to show a rise in temperatures is continuing.

Jones wrote that, in compiling new data, he had "just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline," according to a leaked e-mail, which the author confirmed was genuine.

What you should realize is the backdrop behind this story, the ugly truth that the models upon which global warming conjectures are built have not been confirmed by observations over the last 10 years.
Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

The church of global warming has seen its better days but today public opinion is cooling.

Posted by tim at 5:07 PM | Comments (2)

June 7, 2009

the god that croaks?

Paganism at its worst: a frog that changes color is being worshiped as a god in India:

Hundreds of curious followers flock to Reji Kumar’s home every day to pray and ask for miracles.

Now one of the country’s top zoologists plans to study the rainbow frog. But Reji, 35, who keeps the creature in a glass bottle after finding it while out watering plants, is afraid it might CROAK first.

He said: “My one problem is that this frog does not appear to eat. I keep trying to feed it but it doesn’t eat anything. I don’t know what else to give it.”

The frog was a dazzling white color when Reji, from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, first spotted it.

What kind of god is this? The fragile and dying impotent animal is a hopeless path for those who seek salvation and a blasphemous substitute for living eternal God. Why worship a frog when the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord?

Posted by tim at 8:49 PM

October 27, 2008

Born Alive Truth Targets Obama


Abortion survivor Gianna Jessen states,

Seen this ad? In it, Senator Obama personally attacks me. I've dealt with worse; I survived an abortion. State Senator Barack Obama voted 4 times against laws to protect babies who survive abortions. Meanwhile, U.S. Senators voted 98-0 for Born Alive Infant Protections. Senator Obama says deciding when babies get human rights is above his pay grade. Tell him abortion survivors deserve legal protections too.

Isn't about time someone told the truth about Barack Obama: BornAliveTruth

(more about Born Alive Truth)

Posted by tim at 9:28 PM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2008

A Victory for Stem Cell Researchers

Controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells has consumed an elicit amount of time and unethical research in this area has been unabashedly promoted on the basis of hype and ill-formed promises. An amazing breakthrough involving adult stems cells ought to silence those in favor of harvesting cells from early humans:

Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research.


The experiments, detailed online yesterday in the journal Nature, raise the prospect that patients suffering from not only diabetes but also heart disease, strokes and many other ailments could eventually have some of their cells reprogrammed to cure their afflictions without the need for drugs, transplants or other therapies.

Despite the long road ahead prior to human application, the new technology is a remarkable achievement and the researchers ought to be congratulated.

Earlier this year, ESCR received (another) fatal blow by published research which concluded that human embryonic stem cells are rapidly rejected by the immune system. Of course, the FDA has yet to approve any clinical trial with embryonic stem cells because these cells (whether growing or even pre-differentiated) have a nasty tendency to form cancerous tumors (FRC Blog).

Unfortunately, the technological failures and identification of a replacement for ESCR doesn't resolve the clash of worldviews and moral standards that remain at the heart of the issue.

Individuals and societies who are involved in and support ESCR view themselves as moral because their actions follow from an ethical standard that both justifies and motivates their decisions. In fact, the humanistic ethic that enables the murder of the unborn or the diseased, when pressed, will find little support in the absolute sense for the sanctity of human life that is not unborn or diseased because such sacredness can only be persuasive when derived from a transcended source (God).

Rejection of God means the acceptance of something else, some other ultimate authority or purpose from which standards for right and wrong are derived. This active replacement of Christian ethics with principles upon which ESCR is justified has practical consequences and will lead nations to progressively adopt increasingly oppressive practices that target the weak and defenseless based upon their utilitarian value to others.

Posted by tim at 7:46 PM

May 4, 2008

Amazon's Kindle Back in Stock

Amazon’s Kindle is a unique technology that is positioned to deliver electronic and print media, including books and newspapers, in a package that is highly mobile yet provides a reading experience matching a typed page. The product rapidly sold out late last year and Amazon's supply chain seemingly collapsed. Those issues are over and it appears that a warehouse full of product awaits consumers.

The low power grayscale screen provides highly readable text and wireless connectivity, without a monthly service charge, enables readers to access the Kindle store from most locations.
With over 100,000 electronic books available, the innovative device is likely to achieve significant market penetration for mainstream book readers. In my estimation, the current offering will fail to capture many of the classic texts of interest to Christians, instead emphasizing books likely to generate significant sales. Even so, the Kindle represents the coming change to fully electronic media, in which vast libraries are at the command of the reader. An incredible amount of content is “just there”, wherever you go, in a highly readable format.

Because the electronic books are of little value once reader, I would prefer a subscription service that charged a monthly fee for unlimited books, a rental rather than purchase. This would truly place a mobile library at my fingertips without significant (initial) investment.

Posted by tim at 6:49 PM

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