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Comment: Re:Advertised on YouTube? (Score 2) 97

by AlXtreme (#47546381) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

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.

Science

How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire 384

Posted by samzenpus
from the huff-and-puff-and-blow-your-civilization-down dept.
concertina226 (2447056) writes "The real reason behind the downfall of the Roman Empire might not have been lead contaminating in the water, which is the most popular theory, but the use of concrete as a building material. Dr Penelope Davies, a historian with the University of Texas believes that the rise of concrete as a building material may have weakened ancient Rome's entire political system as Pompey and Julius Caesar began 'thinking like kings'. Concrete was used to build many of Rome's finest monuments, such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Tabularium, which have lasted the test of time and are still standing today."

Comment: Re:Even a Tea Party can be right occsionally (Score 4, Informative) 419

by AlXtreme (#45174689) Attached to: Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party'

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.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 4, Interesting) 226

by AlXtreme (#42570049) Attached to: The Android Lag Fix That Really Wasn't

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.

Comment: Re:That is cheap (Score 2) 299

by AlXtreme (#41974731) Attached to: Mark Cuban: Facebook Is Driving Away Brands — Starting With Mine

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.

Comment: Re:Excellent (Score 1) 1576

by AlXtreme (#41906083) Attached to: Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

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...

Comment: Re:Are there really Python jobs? (Score 2) 360

by AlXtreme (#41628829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Approach To Reenergize an Old Programmer?

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.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea (Score 5, Insightful) 717

by AlXtreme (#41586251) Attached to: How We'll Get To 54.5 Mpg By 2025

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.

Comment: Re:Will WINE be involved? (Score 1) 183

by AlXtreme (#41486125) Attached to: Valve Blog Announces Dates For Steam Linux External Beta

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.

Comment: Re:Extremely interesting case (Score 1) 203

by AlXtreme (#41332843) Attached to: Dutch Court Rules Hyperlinks Can Constitute Infringement

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.

Comment: Just do it. (Score 1) 140

by AlXtreme (#41278983) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Work In IT Freelancing?

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.

Life is cheap, but the accessories can kill you.

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